Skip to main content
1:00 pm
ms. slaughter: i yield 1 1/2 minutes to my colleague from new york, mrs. maloney. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. mrs. maloney: i urge to pass the rule and the violence against women act. this was the first bill i walked on when i first came to congress with congresswoman slaughter and then senator joe biden and has been reauthorized many times. and since 1994 to 2010, four in five victims of intimate partner relationships have been female. these victims are real people and so are are the tragedies. this isn't about politics but about the single most fundamental task we require of our government, to keep its citizens safe. all of our residents, immigrants, no matter what their sexual orientation, it's for all of our citizens.
1:01 pm
i'm pleased two of the bills i have authored are part of the senate version. it would be ripped out by the republican version, so i strongly support the bipartisan senate version, one i authored with representative poe in a bipartisan way. and that was the safer act. this took the monies and directed justice not to just spend money but process the backlog of d.n.a. kits to put rapists behind bars and the campus save act. there is too much violence on campus. one in five women will be assaulted on college campuses. this would require colleges to keep students safe. and also the bipartisan important anti-trafficking bill is part of it. i urge my colleagues in a bipartisan, historic way, to reauthorize and pass the violence against women act, the senate version. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the
1:02 pm
gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from florida. mr. nugent: continue to reserve. ms. slaughter: i yield two minutes to the the gentlewoman from california, ms. matsui the speaker pro tempore:ment the gentlelady is recognized. . mismatsui: i rise in strong support of this act. since the violence against women act first became law in 1994, the incidents of domestic violence is down more than 60%. it is with that same record of success that we should address the prevalence of necessaryic violence in underserved communities. in my district of sacramento, we are fortunate to have an organization which provides crisis intervention services to domestic violence and sexual assault victims. recently they admit add woman and her son to their safe house.
1:03 pm
by the time tucker reached the safe house, his father's verbal abuse had convinced him that he was stupid and insignificant. for an 8-year-old boy to no longer smile, to play games, to enjoy life is heartbreaking. fortunately tucker's mother rescued herself and her son by using the resources that the violence against women act makes available. tucker is now living away from his father in counseling and on his way to a happy and healthy future. time and time again we hear that programs like this break the cycle of domestic violence. we must view this legislation not just as a woman's issue but as a family issue, as a community issue that touches all our lives. it is essential for all past and future victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, that we strengthen and re-authorize the violence against women act. i urge my colleagues to
1:04 pm
re-authorize an all-inclusive version of the violence against women act. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back of the the gentlelady from new york reserves. the gentleman from florida. mr. nugent: continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: i am pleased, mr. speaker, to yield a minute and a half to the gentlewoman from nevada, ms. titus. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for 1 1/2 minutes. ms. titus: thank you, ms. slaughter. mr. speaker, i rise today to support the rule but oppose the house republican substitute and to urge my colleagues to vote for the real violence against women act re-authorization. this passed the senate with overwhelming party -- bipartisan support. real vawa focuses on key programs to address sexual assault, including the backlog and testing rape kits. it also consolidates programs to ensure that resources are reaching victim services and local law enforcement.
1:05 pm
and it ensures protection for all victims of abuse. in nevada nearly half of all women have been the victim of some kind of sexual aassault -- assault and more than a quarter a victim of rape. the rape crisis center in las vegas, an excellent organization that i have worked with closely over the years, assists victims in the transition to become survivors. this congress should support the center's efforts not hinder them. violence against women is not a game. it is time for house republicans to stop playing games and to re-authorize this vital legislation now. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentlelady from new york reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from florida continues to reserve. the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield a minute and a half to the gentleman from texas, mr. green. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for a minute and a half. mr. green: thank you, mr. speaker.
1:06 pm
i thank you so much for the time. isn't it ironic that today the supreme court of the united states of america is considering section 5 of the voting rights act in terms of whether it will continue to apply for the united states of america. and those specific states and areas that are included therein. this is being done at the same time we are considering the violence against women act, which in my opinion should be called a family violence act. and i say this because we cannot exclude people because of their sexual orientation. this is my watch. i have a duty to stand up for those who are being left out or left behind. this act should include the lgbt community and any substitute that would remove the lgbt
1:07 pm
community is a substitute i cannot support. isn't it ironic that today the supreme court is considering section 5 of the voting rights act and we just had a statue of rosa parks made available to the public in stat wary hall. friends, it's time for us to come up to the standards of this time and let's bring all of our people with us. the lgbt community merits our consideration. i will not vote for the substitute. i support the lgbt community. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back of the the gentlelady from new york reserves. the gentleman from florida continues to reserve. the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, i am pleased to yield three minutes to the gentleman from maryland to discuss the previous question, mr. van hollen, distinguished ranking member of the committee on the budget, from maryland. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. van hollen: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank ranking member slaughter, and i hope tomorrow this house will finally have a
1:08 pm
chance to vote on the bipartisan senate bill to prevent violence against women. i hope tomorrow will also have a chance -- we'll also have a chance to vote on a proposal that we now have put forward three times this year to replace the sequester. unfortunately the rule reported out of the house, rules committee, denies us that opportunity. so let he's just remind people what will happen starting march 1. starting march 1 if this house does not take action to replace the sequester, we will lose 750,000 american jobs between march 1 and the end of this year. those are not my numbers. those are not president obama's numbers. those are the numbers from the bipartisan -- by the non partisan, independent congressional budget office. 750,000 fewer american jobs by
1:09 pm
the end of this year if we don't replace the sequester. this majority in this house has not taken any action this year in this congress to prevent that sequester from happening beginning friday. not one step. we have now asked three times for the opportunity to vote on our alternative. what's our alternative, mr. speaker? our alternative would replace the sequester with a balanced mix of cuts and revenue generated by closing tax loopholes and tax preferences that benefit the very wealthy. very specifically because it's a concrete proposal, we would get rid of the direct payments that go to agribusinesses, something that used to be -- have bipartisan support. because that's an unnecessary subsidy that has outlived its purpose. so that's a cut.
1:10 pm
we also say we no longer need taxpayer subsidies for the big oil companies. guess what? that's an idea that was proposed by president bush who said taxpayers should no longer be giving these big breaks to big oil companies. they don't need that extra taxpayer incentive in order to keep producing oil and making record profits. so we do that. and then we say to folks who are making $2 million a year that we are going to limit the number of preferences you can take, we are going to limit the number of tax breaks that you can take that allow you to effectively pay a lower rate than the people who work for you. so if you are making $2 million or more per year, we should say you pay an effective tax rate of 30%. and if you take that combination of targeted cuts, -- i ask for
1:11 pm
another minute. ms. slaughter: i am pleased to yield the gentleman two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized tore two minutes. mr. van hollen: if you take that balanced combination of targeted cuts and the elimination of tax breaks that disproportionately benefit very wealthy people, guess what happens? you get the same deficit reduction over the budget window, so you reduce the deficit by the same amount as you would get if you allow the sequester to take place throughout this year, but you do it in a way that does not lose 750,000 american jobs. you do it in a way that does not cause disruption at our airports in a way that does not cause disruption to our food safety system. in a way that does not cause disruption to the nurses who are caring for our veterans in military hospitals and veterans hospitals around this country. in a way that does not disrupt
1:12 pm
our military operations. so, mr. speaker, we just have a simple question. why is it that as we gather here wednesday we are denied the opportunity to even have a vote on this alternative, this balanced alternative to prevent the loss of $750,000 american jobs. we are not asking members of this -- 750,000 american jobs. we are not asking for members of this house to vote for the alternative, although we think it's good and we would ask them to do so, we are simply asking in this house we have a vote on an alternative that would then this disruption. i think the american people would ask themselves why we were not even granted that opportunity with less than three days to go before we hit that across-the-board sequester, which is just washington speak for massive job loss and massive
1:13 pm
economic disruption, in addition to the job loss, according to the independent congressional budget office, it will cause one third less economic output in the united states of america in this year. at a time when the economy remains very fragile. so i ask, finally, mr. speaker, give us that opportunity to vote so people have a choice to prevent the sequester. i thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentlelady from new york, the ranking member of the rules committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentlelady from new york reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from florida. continues to reserve. the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, i'm delighted to yield one minute to the gentlewoman from california, the democratic leader, ms. pelosi. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. pelosi: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i thank the gentlelady for yielding and for her leadership as the senior democrat on the rules committee. today we have an interesting
1:14 pm
discussion. we are debating the rule that will enable us to bring to the floor the violence against women act. as part of the debate on the rule we are asking to vote no on the previous question which would enable us also to not only vote on the violence against women act but at completion to go on to voting on a proposal that the democrats have to resolve the sequester issue. i'll start first with the violence against women act. as of yesterday it was over 500 days since the violence against women act had expired. the re-authorization is long overdue. last year the senate in a bipartisan way passed a bill that was comprehensive, that did the job. the house republicans resisted that. here we are again this year, last week, the house -- senate, the senate in a bipartisan way
1:15 pm
passed 78-22 the violence against women act which is comprehensive and does the job. that means 78% of the senate voted, 78% of the senate voted for this violence against women act. it means also that all of the women in the senate, democrats and republicans alike, voted for this act. it also means that a majority of the republicans in the senate, majority of the republicans in the senate voted for this comprehensive violence against women act. so the senate has passed it overwhelmingly. the majority of republicans supporting it. the president stands ready to sign it. democrats in the house support it. we have our own -- we'll call upon our leadership of gwen moore who has a similar bill in the house, we stand ready to support the senate version, the senate passed it, we support t. the president is ready to sign it. once again the republicans in
1:16 pm
the house are the obstacle to passing this legislation. . it's hard to explain to anyone why we would say to the women of america, women of america, step forward. we are stopping violence against women, not so fast if you are an immigrant or a member of the lgbt community or a native american. what is that? violence against some women and not others. and quite frankly, the groups that are excluded are the groups that are in most need of protection against violence. so, i would hope that in the course of the debate that we will move on to on the violence against women act that we will all open our hearts to what is needed to reduce violence in the lives of america's women. in the meantime, we have a procedure that is not preferable
1:17 pm
. we have asked over and over again as the distinguished the gentleman from maryland, mr. van hollen has said, this is the third time we asked a vote on an alternative and why can't we pass something to avoid sequestration. we have this proposal that is fair, that does make cuts, does produce revenue, that does not impede growth with jobs in our economy. and all we want is a vote. why do we have to beg hat in hand for a vote on the floor of the house in this marketplace of ideas? what are the republicans are afraid of? they are afraid it will win and makes so much sense or they may not want to put their members on record to vote against against a
1:18 pm
solution, a solution to sequestration. what does sequestration mean? well, whatever it means, this is what it equals. sequestration equals unemployment. sequestration equals job loss and we cannot have a slowing down of our economic growth. we cannot afford to lose the 700,000 jobs, low estimate, that has been put forth by economists and by the congressional budget office itself. so all we're hoping is that on the previous question, we urge people to vote no on the previous question, which means that we would then be allowed to come to the floor to take up the violence against women act and also to take up the sequestration bill. it is really something that deserves debate on the floor of the house. the republican leadership has
1:19 pm
said, well, we voted on that last year, last year was another congress. that congress ended. congress ends and we have a new congress. we have an election and new congress begins and constitution says bills that relate to revenues and appropriations must begin in the house. they say we did it last year. that doesn't count. that's not what the constitution says. let's take our responsibility and not be afraid of the ideas that people sent us here to discuss. we don't have to agree on every point, but we should have an opportunity on the floor of the house. people across the country are talking about this. you can't turn on any media without them talking about this. the only place we can't talk about it or get a vote on it is on the floor of the house of representatives. i urge a no vote on the previous question. and a no vote on the republican violence against women act and yes vote on the bipartisan senate bill when we have the
1:20 pm
opportunity to vote on that. with that, i yield back to the distinguished ranking member. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york reserves. the gentleman from florida continues to reserve. the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: i yield 15 seconds to mr. van hollen for clarification and following that, two minutes to ms. wasserman schultz, the gentlelady from florida. mr. van hollen: 150,000 fewer american jobs, cutting growth in g.d.p. by one-third. not economic output. but growth in g.d.p. second number, three, the number of times we have tried to get a vote on this. the number of times our republican colleagues have this year tried to resolve the sequester issue. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentlelady from florida is recognized for two minutes. ms. wasserman schultz: i rise today in support of this comprehensive and bipartisan
1:21 pm
effort to end violence against women. the violence against women act recently passed by the senate updates this crucial legislation by providing necessary resources and support to all victims of domestic violence regardless of their race, ethnicity and sexual orientation. 78 senators and 23 republicans recognized the need for these protections and i'm thrilled we are moving to recognize the same. i would like to express my gratitude to the champions, including the gentlelady from new york. several of my colleagues along with hundreds of groups and thousands of concerned citizens across the country have worked these past few weeks to make sure the voices of survivors and advocates could be heard. that is why the bill we consider today reflects the needs of vulnerable populations that have been ignored in the past and give native american tribes abusers accountable. and immigrants survivors the independence necessary to escape violence. i'm proud to vote in favor of a
1:22 pm
comprehensive violence against women act for my constituents and my children, my daughters and i urge all of my colleagues to do the same. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentlelady from new york has 6 1/2 minutes and reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from florida. mr. nugent: reserve the balance. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: i have no further requests for time. can i inquire of my colleague if he has any more requests for time. mr. nugent: i do not. ms. slaughter: i'm prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. slaughter: thank you, mr. speaker. this has been a wonderful day for us in some way because we are finally debating the violence against women act with the great possibility of passing the senate bill, which will protect all women in the united states and not just some. and it's terribly important that we do that and i think we may have caused some confusion there as we talk about violence against women and we are also
1:23 pm
talking about the previous question. deals with sequestration and i would like to close speaking about that. i think everyone understands our importance that we have attached to the violence against women act, but we are also very much concerned about sequestration. the reason we have brought it up on a previous question on the violence against women act is we have had no other opportunity to bring it up. american public has been told over and over again that this house twice has passed legislation dealing with sequestering. all of us know, i'm not sure the public knows, but make it clear that anything done before december 31 of last year is no longer valid. nothing has been done this term to stop the sequestration. the only effort that has been made to do so has been done by mr. value hollen, the ranking
1:24 pm
member of the budget committee. he has a very moderate request, one that does not do great harm either through the employment situation in the country or to the output of g.d.p. and what he said was terribly important. what we are about to embark on here is totally unknown. we know -- i think everybody understands that why we continue to do it is beyond my imagination. but let me make it absolutely clear here, no opportunity has been given to our side of the house to even attempt to deal with sequestration. this is it. for any member of the house of representatives who would like to go on record saying we don't want sequestration to take place on march 1, this is your only opportunity. so we're asking that you will vote no on the previous question so we can at least go on record and do our very best to stop
1:25 pm
what by all accounts, by all, will be a mitigated disaster. if we move the previous question we will offer the amendment which will allow the house to vote to replace the entire sequester with savings in specific policies that reflect a balanced approach to reducing our national deficit. a balanced approach, mr. speaker, not a meat-axe across the board. we have to act now if we avert this crisis. this is our only chance. if we avoid the unnecessary cuts, the time is now. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to insert the text of the amendment in the record, along with extraneous material immediately prior to the vote on the previous question. mr. speaker, i strongly urge my colleagues on both sides --
1:26 pm
the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. slaughter: i strongly all of my colleagues in this house, because none of us want to face that abyss. to vote no to defeat the previous question. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from florida. mr. nugent: mr. speaker, i support this rule and encourage my colleagues to support it as well. every day, people flee their homes because of violence they suffer at the hands of a domestic partner. if there is something we can do to save those women and children, we need to do it. inaction is unacceptable. i have seen the consequences of doing nothing too many times when it comes to domestic violence. this rule provides the house with multiple options on how we take a stance against domestic violence right here, right now. may not agree on which of these two visions is the best one but we can all agree something must be done.
1:27 pm
i say to you, mr. speaker, support the rule before us today . doing something, anything, you need to is the start by voting for the rule. that's the first step. that's what we need to pass first and foremost so we can debate those options. some folks will talk like the senate vision of violence against women re-authorization act is more than they like the house alternative. others have problems with the senate bill and think the house's plan is the way to go forward. either way, either way, if you want to take a stand against violence against women, then you need to support this rule. this rule is how we move to the next step to debate the options before the house to ensure that law enforcement departments, organizations like the dawn center back home, and victims of domestic violence can get the support that they so desperately need.
1:28 pm
there are those who want to confuse this with another issue before this house, but this is the issue that we have today. the issue on domestic violence, domestic violence against women act. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time and i move the previous question on the resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on ordering the previous question on the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. ms. slaughter: on that i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question will be postponed. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the house will
1:29 pm
>> meanwhile president obama is set to meet friday with the top leaders in the senate and the house to talk about the sequester set to go into effect on friday. republican leader, mitch mcconnell, said the session will focus on ways to reduce government spending. but he also said he won't back down on his opposition to any
1:30 pm
new revenues. senator mcconnell along with house speaker boehner, senate democratic leader harry reid, and nancy pelosi, the house democratic leader, will attend the meeting on friday at the white house. on c-span we have been talking to capitol hill reporters about the potential impact of the sequester. here's a look at how it might be affecting the education department. >> joining us now from domination week is reporter allison klein, she's on the phone to talk about what she's education cuts could mean. good morning. we heard the education secretary call them dumb cuts. what the republicans calling the potential cuts to education? >> that's funny. they have been pretty quiet about that. i think it's a losing issue to come out and say we really want to make sure we cut programs like title 1, disadvantaged students, head start programs like that. so they have been fairly quiet when it comes to the education cuts and sequestration.
1:31 pm
>> let's look at some of the specifics, the white house is warning about a 8.2% across-the-board for most education programs. what else are we seeing? >> actually with the s.s.i. .3% cut because of some of the changes that happened in the big deal. it's a smaller cut for this year. yes, there would be cuts to programs like title 1 as i mentioned. grants for disadvantaged kids. special education services which is something school districts across the country are concerned about. and there would be cuts to programs like head start. most of these cuts would not take effect until the beginning of the next school year. in the fall. >> we are hearing warnings about pink slips and things like that from the education secretary. even though the cuts might not kick in for a little while, how are school districts, some localities thinking about responding to this? >> right now is the time that school districts start to plan their budget for the next school
1:32 pm
year. so we are sort is of in the preliminary stages. it's important to note that not only is there uncertainty because of sequestration when it comes to federal funds, but also as i'm sure most c-span viewers know, congress has not finished its budget for this fiscal year. they don't even know what this 5% cut is coming on top of. america online alyson klein, what do we know how states will be impacted differently. we are seeing breakdowns how the cuts will be spread out throughout the country. >> states that more reliant on federal funds for education, mexico is one example, will feel the pinch more than states that get less federal funding for education like connecticut. host: alyson klein reporter for education week, thanks for joining us this morning. >> also today in washington, chuck hagel was sworn in this morning as defense secretary in
1:33 pm
a private ceremony with family members and immediate office staff at the pentagon. he later spoke to folks at the pentagon. we'll show that to you later in our program schedule. the supreme court today heard testimony in a case regarding the voting rights act of 1965. "the new york times" reporting on the oral argument today saying a central provision of that voting rights act could be in peril judging from rough or tough questioning today from the supreme court's more conservative members. they write that the law, a landmark achievement of the civil era, was challenged by shelby county, alabama, which said the requirement outlived its usefulness. we spoke about the oral argument today on "washington journal." host: the supreme court hears a case about the voting rights act today and here to talk about with us is ari berman, contributing righter at the nation. and hang von, at the heritage foundation, thank you to you. before we get into the specifics what the supreme court is
1:34 pm
hearing today,ary, tell us about the voting rights act and its history. >> it was put into place because in 1870 the states ratified the 15th amendment which basically said that you shall not abridge or deny the right to vote based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude. what happened following the 15th amendment is that we got the jim crow era. so for almost 100 years black voters were disenfranchised in the south. there was a need for a new piece of congressional legislation, one that actually had teeth that would be able to enforce essentially the promise of the 15th amendment by abolishing things like literacy test, the -- to give the right to vote for minority voters where they hadn't had before in terms of congressional legislation. host: the voting right act various section. section 5 is what's in play today. >> it's important for people to understand that the entire voting rights act is not being questioned today.
1:35 pm
section 5 is the only provision that's up. section 5 is the special provision, it was originally only supposed to last five years, it was supposed to be an emergency provision, that required a small number of covered jurisdictions to get preafrolve from the federal government to get any changes in their voting laws before they became effective. it's been renewed four times, last time in 2006 for another 25 years. would expire otherwise in 2031. host: you said it's a broader law and section 5 is one part of it. ari you see it as a crucial aspect. >> it really is the most effective provision of the law because it shifts the burden of proof on the states themselves to prove their voting changes are not discriminatory. what happened before 1965 is the courts or congress which strikes down voter suppression laws in places like alabama and they would either ignore those
1:36 pm
rulings or they would just implement a new voter suppression measure. what happened section 5 was designed as that emergency tool to make sure places like alabama had to go through the federal government. it really was a preemptive deterrent mechanism and there is nothing like it in the voting rights act. that's akin to section 5. >> how crucial do you see section 5 to the law? do you think that it is part of the major framework? >> it was in 1965. 1965 it was definitely needed because of the widespread official discrimination going on in the south. but times have changed greatly. today it's no longer needed. if discrimination occurs, it can be easily remedied through section 2 of the voting rights act. that is a nationwide permanent provision that bans discrimination in the voting context. section 5, which was put in place because local and state governments were trying to evade court decrees, is no longer
1:37 pm
needed because there hasn't been any evasion of court decrees or that kind of official discrimination in decades. host: we'll get your opinion on this. but if would you like to join the conversation, viewers and listeners, here's the numbers to call. republicans 202-585-3881. democrats, 202-505-3880. and 202-385-3882 independents. it was created back in 1965. and that was after alabama state troopers attacked voting rights marchers. people remember that as bloody sunday. and as mr. hands noted. it was re-authorized back in 2006 for 25 years, and signed by president george w. bush. ari you had this recent piece in the nation, why are conservatives trying to destroy the voting rights act? in it you look how conservatives have weighed in on the act over the years. your perception it's changed in the last decade. >> it has. there is still a split among conservatives about the voting rights act.
1:38 pm
you have for example briefs filed in support. i do think there is split within the republican party on this. it's true if you look at legal circles, they are moving away from supporting section 5. there is a few different reasons why. number one, since the 2006 re-authorization, the republican party itself is whiter, more conservative, and more stubborn than it was in 2006. the second thing is they have a supreme court that clearly is less, i guess i would say less predisposed to rule in favor of minorities when it comes to racial discrimination cases. and the third thing is you have a conservative effort to poir a lot of money into groups whose express goal and purpose is to challenge laws like the voting rights act. it's no coincidence we have had challenges for the voting rights act both in 2009 and 2013. for the court because there is an attempt to find plaintiffs to match those plaintiffs with the conservative movement and get
1:39 pm
these cases all the way up to the highest court. host: tell us about the case that's specifically before the supreme court today. >> sure. it's called shelby county vs. holder. shelby county is in alabama. they have sued saying that they should no longer be covered under section 5. it's unconstitutional. and the main reason for it is this. this is a very important point. the way congress determined which states would be covered, there's nine states covered. parts of seven other states. was based on low voter registration turnout, registration and turnout in the 1964, 1968, and 1972 elections. when they renewed it in 2006, congress did not update the triggering formula. so that means the states today that are still covered, places like alaska, georgia, mississippi cover based on
1:40 pm
40-year-old registration and turnout data. one of the reasons congress did not update the formula is if they had, none of those states would be covered today because the differential between white and black registration turnout has virtually disappeared. in fact in some states, some elections like mississippi and other places, black registration turnout has been higher than white turn turnout. host: localities that have a distry of minority disenfranchisement, trouble with voth for minority americans, must get federal approval to change their voth procedures. back in 2009 the supreme court did allow for more bailout applications, which we'll talk about in just a moment. first let's look at a map from "usa today" showing the states and partial states where you have to get federal approval for any changes in voting laws. ari, why do you think that should still be in play? >> it's the best formula that congress has figured out. i think if you look at the covered jurisdictions, past
1:41 pm
remains present to a disturbing degree. those covered jurisdictions are 25% of the population but 81% of the success isful lawsuits. discrimination is still concentrated in these places. you look, for example, after the 2010 election we had these new voting restrictionings introduced whether it was voter i.d. laws or registration drives or cutbacks in early voting, if you look at the six of nine states fully covered by section 5, 2/3 of them passed new voting right restrictions in 2010, compared to only 1/3 of the noncovered jurisdiction. there's been a lot of studies, analysis before congress both before 2006 and afterwards showing that the covered jurisdictions despite the fact that the coverage formula is based on an old formula, is still pretty accurate today. it wasn't perfect in 1964, it wasn't perfect in 1968, it wasn't perfect in 1972. it's not perfect today. the question is is it better than not ex-ising at all? and congress four different times has come to the conclusion
1:42 pm
it should exist based on the current formula. host: contributing righter to the nation, other guest, senior fellow at the heritage foundation. he says the voting rights act is a victim of its own success. hear what you have to say. otis in houston, texas, republican. go ahead. caller: good morning. i don't think we need the voting right act because blacks -- can you hear me? host: we can. caller: i don't think we need the voting right act, and i am a black man. i hate to see people like obama manipulate and cause division in this country. it's 2013. i think times have changed. everybody needs i.d. to vote. that's my opinion. whether you are in the north or south. you can't even go to the bank -- look at the places -- voting is
1:43 pm
a real privilege. my question is, i think we all need to change with the times. host: response from ari. >> i this texas where the caller is from is a case study why we still need section 35. both the justice department and federal courts invade against two major voting changes in texas under section 5. the federal courts unanimously, both republican and democratic judges, found texas' redistrictsing act was enacted with discriminatory purpose and would have disenfranchised or diluted the minorities in texas. the very fast growing black and hispanic populations of texas. they also blocked texas' voter i.d. law. they found hispanics were somewhere between 46% to 120% more lucky than whites. they found that 600,000 to 800,000 voters registered voters didn't have that form of government issued i.d. they found that texas only had
1:44 pm
d.m.v. offices in 81 of 254 counties. hispanics were twice as likely to live in places without those--access to d.m.v., without having a car. for all those reasons the courts blocked what was going on in texas. so if there was no discrimination going on in voting in the covered jurisdictions, why did the federal court in a bipartisan basis block two major voting changes in texas in the last election. host: hands? guest: the problem is no one claims there isn't still discrimination that occurs. the discrimination that does occur are isolated cases which could be easily remedied through section 2 of the voting rights act. his claims earlier that there is more discrimination, evidence of more discrimination in the covered states is completely untrue. this is laid out in the dissent written by one of the justices in the shelby county case in the court of appeals. in fact, for example, the covered states have higher rates of registration turnout of black
1:45 pm
voters than the rest of the nation. noncovered states. the covered states have a higher proportion of black officials, population, than noncovered states. two of the states in the country were the worst proportion of elected black officials are the noncovered states of illinois, the president's home state, and dell war, the vice president's home state. host: here's a map from "usa today" showing southern states have highest percentages of blacks serving in their state legislatures. usually from black majority districts. guest: it's important to remember. yes, there are a lot of black elect the officials in the south. they have a lot less power in the south. only 4% of black elected officials in the south serve in the majority compared to in -- outside of the south over 50% of blackledge slators serve in the majority. there clearly is a power imbalance. you look at the south when it comes to minority elected officials. you can't just look at voter
1:46 pm
turnout and registration. you have to look at all these other factors i mentioned in terms of what these states are trying to do to either disenfranchise, dilute, or make it harder for these populations be able to vote. section 2 lawsuits are very expensive. very costly. they put the burden of proof on the plaintiffs to have to show discrimination. there's no really -- section 5 and section 2 are totally different. a lot of things are being blocked preempty live through section 5 that would go through under section 2. host: hearing two different perspectives on the vote ising rights act n. particular section 5 which the supreme court is hearing a case on today. maryland our next caller in dels, tacks. good many caller: good morning. i would just like to, why would the conservatives, this is conservative legislation that are in these southern states, and even in some northern
1:47 pm
states, why would they gerrymander their districts to control the vote if they were not afraid of section 5, and what the voters would really want? why would they not just let the process work itself out instead of trying to make a reason for them to be able to win. the guy in pennsylvania clearly said that. he won it -- he wanted romney to win and the voting rights law that they were creating was the reason. why would you not say that section 5 is still needed? host: go ahead. a guest: look, when the supreme court upheld section 5 back in 1966, they recognized that it was an extraordinary intrusion into state sovereignty. it was unprecedented in american history, but it was justified because of the unique
1:48 pm
circumstances at the time. which was widespread official discrimination. that widespread official discrimination does not occur -- does not exist today. with regard to voting i.d. laws and gerrymandering, in fact one of the bad things about section 5 is it makes race a predominant factor in redistricting. that actually hurts black officials who get elected who want to, for example, then run statewide, because they are in many ways partitioned into predominantly black districts where rather than having to work at attracting other voters, they tend to be more towards the extreme side. the same thing happens with surrounding republican districts of the one of the reasons republicans have done so well in section 5 states is because of the requirement for creating majority minority districts.
1:49 pm
that takes black voters out of surrounding districts, which makes them stronger for republicans. that's why there's been this unholy alliance between democrats and republicans to keep section 5 in place. host: let's go to a tweet. jim writes in and asks, how long will this nation treat people as if they are not equal? as long as we have things like the voting rights act, we are a divided nation, just stop. he says. ari? guest: i think the head of the civil rights division of the justice department said that section 5 remains regrettably necessary. i think everyone would like to be in a position that we are this post racial society where you have a situation, you look at alabama and mississippi, only 10% or 15% white voters are voting for the president. and racially polarized voting is worse in those section 5 states than it is in other parts of the country. so we are not in a situation where we don't need its protections. the thing is if states are discriminating, they can get out of section 5. you look at where this challenge is coming from, from shelby county, it comes from a place
1:50 pm
call calera, and in 2008 they drew their redistricting maps in such a way that the only majority black district on the city council went in a district 71% african-american to 30% african-american, and the only african-american member of the city council in that city in alabama lost his seat. so that to me seems like a perfect reason why we still need section 5. they drew the district in such a way that it resulted in the on black member of the city council losing his district. yes, this stuff happens in ohio and pennsylvania and wisconsin. but it happens more often, still, in places like alabama, texas, and mississippi. and that's why section 5 so many different people across the legal spectrum are urging it be upheld. host: maverick rights in and says, the voting act law should expand to all states after seeing the obvious suppression attempts and tactics in the 2012 election. guest: well, if they are going to say it needs to be expanded, yes, that would then treat
1:51 pm
states the same. and particularly in terms of the evidence. ari keeps saying that there's more discrimination in covered states. that is simply not true. the facts do not bear that out at all. and if are you going to have section 5, yes, it should cover the rest of the country. but there simply is not evidence that states are evading court decrees or otherwise practicing jimmings as government entities. and that's what led to the passage of section 5. section 2 remains. that can be used for incidents like the calera incident that he's talking about. that was the only objection in the entire state of alabama in the last 12 years. one objection. and yet the entire state should remain covered under section 5 because of one objection? an objection that could have easily been reamdied through a section 2 lawsuit? host: d.j. in sacramento,
1:52 pm
california, independent line. good morning. caller: good morning, gentlemen. first of all i just want to say to the brother from texas, otis, voting is not a privilege. it's a right. i'm a citizen. i have a right to vote. and because of my color i shouldn't be restricted in that pursuit. i would just say you guys never have the interest of black people -- interested black folks at your heart or good will for black folks in terms of positions you take. forgive my inarticulation. if you say that racism is done with and we don't need section 5, that's the only way you can make the argument for not to be continued. in general what we see today going on, it's clear that it's still needed. the question i have for both you gentlemen, if the court strikes it down, what is the recourse that voters have, minorities
1:53 pm
have, in terms of that section is taken out? host: hands first. address his comments at the heritage foundation and the larger issue. guest: i'm soarry. it's those kind of personal attacks are that usually come interesting people who don't have substantive arguments on their side. and the idea that there's huge amounts of voter suppression going on is a myth that's been created in the media. i would point out, for example, on voter i.d., that when georgia passed its voter i.d. law, there was a voting rights lawsuit filed in georgia. and the courts found it was not discriminatory. voting rights lawsuit occurred over south carolina's voter i.d. law recently. and the court found it was not discriminatory. voter i.d. is not a discriminatory provision. the courts have said it's not. in most of the cases that have construed it. in fact, the turnout of african-american voters in
1:54 pm
places like georgia that have put in voter i.d. laws went up after their photo i.d. laws went in place. section 35 if it is struck down will in no way change the remedies that people who are discriminated against have. section 2 of the voting rights act and other provisions of the voting rights act will remain in place. they apply nationwide as i have said before. and they can be used to remedy the discrimination, the isolated examples of it that still occur. host: our caller asked about what happens next? take us through what's in front of the supreme court today. give us more details about the shelby case and what you are expecting to see unfold. guest: section 5 is struck down minority voters will have a lot less recourse in the south to be able to cover discriminatory voting practices. number one, there will be fewer protections for those majority minority districts. that pretty much is the only way you can elect minority voters in the south right now because of
1:55 pm
rationally polarized voting. section 2, take a long time. they are very hard to bring. the plaintiffs don't have the money to bring those cases. so you would see the burden shift toward the -- those plaintiffs. most of whom are among the most in need in our society. it's very difficult for them. to bring these changes. i think it will green light the kind of new voting restrictions that we have already seen. look at alabama for example. alabama passed a voter i.d. law in 2010. proof of citizenship to register to vote. and there will be more of that coming. you look at calera in specific, there's a stat from 1975 to 2008, election laws in shelby county were discriminated on the basis of race upped the voting rights act in 20 separate instances. this is recent history in these places. this isn't based on 1965. this is based on things happening from the past few years and the past few decades. and if these places had a clean
1:56 pm
record, they could bail out from the voting rights act. places like shelby county can't bail out because they are discriminating on the basis of race in these states. host: you mentioned bailout, hands, back in 2009 the supreme court expanded elling ingibility for local government to seek exemptions from the federal oversight. this is from "wall street journal." what happened in 2009 and why didn't that go far enough in your opinion? guest: states can't bail out. host: what does that mean? guest: bail out means you apply to the federal court in washington, d.c. and you provide certain evidence and if the court believes that you can get out from under--then -- section 5 will no longer apply. the problem is for example in alabama there's been no objection to any statewide voting changes in alabama for the last 20 years. but they are responsible for all of their political subdivisions,
1:57 pm
all the towns, counties, even though the state government has no control over what city and county governments do. so they can't bail out if even one town gets one objection in the last 10 years, even if the rest of the state has been completely clean and has had not any problems. by the way ari mentioned proof of citizenship being discriminatory in the voting rights act. i'm soarry, georgia passed a proof of citizenship requirement several years ago and the obama administration precleared it and said it was not discriminatory. host: our guests are hands von sakowsky. center for legal and judicial studies. co-author of the book "who is counting." that's just out last year. and ari berman, contributing writer for the nation. he's also an investigative journalism fellow at the nation institute. he's the author of "herding
1:58 pm
donkeys, the fight to rebuild the democratic party and reshape american politics." let's hear from jackson, mississippi, jason, republican caller. caller: thank you. there was a couple of really somewhat offensive and i think probably logical fallacies that occurred and i need further explanation so do the listeners. when the claim was state add few moments ago about the title 5 in saying that it's, quote, clearly needed, an example of that, for instance, more than 50% of white voters in mississippi voted for president obama. that's a logical fallacy. the claim doesn't support the supposition. the question would really be, what is the proof then without sort of the biases, the nature of political bias, for these claims. the heritage fellow stated that real claims are against, for instance, alabama, haven't been present or credible.
1:59 pm
i really don't understand why it's sort of making me feel like i'm listening to a radio show from the 1950's when in fact it was 2013. host: mr. berman for a response. guest: you look for example at a town in mississippi, in 2001 it was a majority black town. but the governing board, the mayor and city council, was all white. and in 2001 when there was going to be elections and it was clear that black voters were going to be able to win seats in that election, the government canceled the election because they didn't want to cede power. the just disdepartment was able to step in and block that change, and they know you have to poll the election as a result that town for the first time elected a black mayor an three black city council members. that is exactly why section 5 is so needed.
2:00 pm
particularly in places like mississippi where this happens more often than places like ohio . host: comments on twitter. the person alleging the discrimination should always hold the burden of proof. why shouldn't the voting rights act be different? next caller is in birmingham, alabama, on our democrats line. good morning. caller: good morning. how are you? host: good. caller: i had read your book. good morning. guest: good morning. caller: i want to say actually you're wrong because evergreen, alabama, and there is an article that allen just wrote, evergreen, alabama, is a state that you should consider because it is not the state that is being challenged at the
2:01 pm
present moment. but my question is this -- which supreme court justice is actually going to probably be the swing vote in terms of the voting rights act, section 5? because we know that john roberts would like to do away with this law. guest: it's very tough to predict the supreme court. i would point out that in the case where this issue came up back in 2009, the texas case we talked about earlier, eight justices of the supreme court talked about the problems with the possible constitutionality of section 5. i really don't know how the justices is going to come out on this. i don't want to predict it. i already may want to do that. i think it's just impossible to tell. >> i think after the health care ruling we all learned our lesson in predicting what the court will do.
2:02 pm
i think justice kennedy is very likely the swing vote in this case like he is in so many cases because you look at the 2009 oral arguments and justice kennedy basically said he understood the value of section 5. he understood the insufficiency of section 2 but he was concerned about the application of states. the sovereign dignity of alabama was left in the sovereign dignity of michigan. and so it will be up to the government and the naacp legal defense fund who are in support of section 5 to convince justice kennedy that section 5 needs the relevance of it today outweighs those federalism concerns that he was talking about. host: we just saw a photo in "the new york times" saying justice kennedy may indeed be that swing vote. what did you learn from the 2009 case that allowed for more bailouts? who else were big players, ari berman? >> one theory is that there
2:03 pm
were five votes to overturn section 5 but that the four liberal justices threatened to write a pretty scathing descent. there is another. either kennedy or roberts got cold feet but there's also a theory that roberts didn't have votes to strike down section 5, that kennedy wasn't prepared to do that. it would be a radical act to strike down a law to re-authorize four times by congress has been signed four times the republican president so there is a bipartisan consensus for the voting rights act that is held for nearly 50 years. and for five justices to get rid of that bipartisan consensus would not only be very disturbing in terms of what it would mean for voting and discrimination but it would raise thorny issues for congress and the court and the redistribution of powers. host: looking at chief john roberts, how influential do you
2:04 pm
think he'll be in this? guest: i think he will be very influential. he said the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating. justice kennedy actually said very interestingly, he wrote the majority opinion in a case called miller v. johnson way is a case which was all about the abuses enforcement practices of the civil rights division of the justice department under section 5. they cast gaited the civil rights division in that opinion, justice kennedy did, and in fact in that particular case, not only did the justice department lose, but they ended up having to pay over half a million dollars in attorneys' fees and costs to the defendants in that case that they had improperly sued and objected to. host: lakewood, washington, halle, independent line. caller: good morning. i want to say first of all thanks for being on this morning because i really needed something intellectual to watch.
2:05 pm
i want to say good morning to mr. -- to your guests. guest: it's very early morning for you. caller: yes, i am. i am always up at 3:00 a.m. so i can be with coffee and watch c-span at iv. my question or comment today starts, i am a bicoastal resident. i live half here in lakewood, washington, and i live the other half in huntsville, alabama. so living in these two places and seeing the vast differences in the educational levels and the way that people perceive voting and the right to vote and then asking them in the black community -- because i am an american negro, and i am not accepted in the black community because i like to be called a negro. and that is part of the discrimination that are objectifying the american people. point blank. it took me a while to learn
2:06 pm
that. i didn't understand being raised in illinois what the problem in the south was and their whole issue with the racism things until i actually moved to huntsville. when i got there it was like the naacp -- and please don't cut me off and i am serious. i am looking at my notes. the naacp was very, very pressed to keep pointing out how the white men was suppressing the black man and when i posed the question -- well, is anybody out there really educating the black community? are you taking dictionaries with you to these meetings because a lot of the people don't understand the words being utilized? are you making notes for them because a lot of that community is actually illiterate? are you helping them with the problems of dyslexia, which i found runs rampant in that community. i'm dyslexic. host: all right.
2:07 pm
she refers to her african-american. what is your response to her call? guest: i am not sure i have a response to her call so i will take a pass. host: all right, vita, republican line. caller: good morning. my question is to heritage foundation. i'm a republican and for me to -- i'm very disgusted with the republicans in the way they're conducting their behavior because voting rights and also the way that the whole concept of taking -- going back in history and trying to remove a lot of the constitution and -- of the united states of america and going back and using the forefathers to correct this society and taking us back in history instead of moving forward because the reason why we have the voter rights
2:08 pm
installed is because we have practiced bad behavior. and that's the reason why we have laws to try to correct our behavior because people practice bad behavior and -- host: ok. let's get our response from hans von spakovsky. guest: the main provision of the nationwide act is -- voting rights act is nationwide. only one small provision that was originally supposed to last only five years, and it takes the extraordinary step of telling state and local governments that they can't make any changes in their laws without getting the pre-approval of the federal government. there is no longer statewide system atic discrimination in the south that would require that particular provision to stay in place.
2:09 pm
host: voting rights act last re-authorized in 2006, signed into law by president george w. bush. why didn't they deal with section 5 then? why didn't conservatives try to pull that out if there were issues with it? >> well, there was testimony about this, including by edward bloom who was profiled in "the washington post" this past weekend. going back to what i said before, there was an unwholly alliance because section 5 with its requirement to have race be a predominating factor in redistricting has actually helped them and has actually isolated democrats, particularly black democrats, in districts where they are not going to get the kind of political support, build up the kind of coalitions they need to then, for example, run statewide in other places. and so, you know, they weren't voting really based on principle as much as partisan advantage. and politically it would be
2:10 pm
very costly to come out and say anything against section 5 of the voting rights act. host: ari berman. guest: the justice department objected to four voting changes. in texas, in florida and south carolina. and federal courts on a bipartisan basis blocked three or four of those laws, ruled in favor of the justice department and blocked south carolina's voting i.d. law for 2012. so clearly the courts are in sync with the justice department's position on this. you look at how the lower courts ruled in this case. both the district court and the court of appeals ruled against shelby county's challenge to section 5. and a president bush appointee, justice beats said this. 40 years has not been a sufficient amount of time to eliminate the vestiges of discrimination following nearly 100 years of disregard for the dictates of the 15th amendment. so both republican judges and
2:11 pm
democratically appointed judges have ruled on this case and upheld section 5. it's not just because of an unwholly alliance between democrats and republicans, it's because this is the most important and effective provision ever passed by congress to prevent discrimination in voting before it occurs. and to get rid of this law would really be to get rid what eric holder described as the keystone of our voting rights. host: let's get one last caller in here. democratic caller, pensacola, florida. how are you? caller: good. i guess i'm calling about what hans has said here. his argument is very specious. he indicates there are more voters in these areas, but he leaves out the is up position that it is because the laws are there. that's it. and my comment to the people who are listening to this, just look at the names of the organization.
2:12 pm
the nation heritage. which one do you think is more inclusive? the heritage foundation, to my knowledge, has never come down on the side of the person of color. just look at the organization. which one is more inclusive? trying to figure out which one of these persons to believe. host: we'll get a response from hans on that. guest: look. that's not a substantive discussion of the issue. that's a personal attack, and it brings up biases that are frankly not true. let me go back to something that ari said. he said there were four objections. one of course was overturned. so there were three objections. there are more than 12,000 jurisdictions covered under section 5 when you include the states, localities and local towns and cities. four objections, actually only three valid ones out of more than 12,000 jurisdictions and those 12,000 should stay covered under section 5.
2:13 pm
those three objections could have easily been taken care of by the justice department with section 2 lawsuits that could have immediately stopped, if they convinced a job, if they get a temporary restraining order, the justice department, for example, wouldn't have the resources. to pursue three lawsuits is just ridiculous. i used to work there. i tell you that's not the case. host: final thoughts, ari berman? guest: we are talking about a lot of voters that would have been impacted in places like texas, based on these voting objections. no one is under any illusions here that if section 5 goes there will be a lot of voter suppression attempts, a lot more restrictions. we're not going to go back to 1965 but it's not going to be in the conditions we are in today either. host: main contributing writer, you saw him writing his piece. you can find that about the voting rights action. and hans with the heritage foundation.
2:14 pm
he has a piece online today to strike down section 5, watching the supreme court as they take up oral arguments today. thanks for being here. guest: thanks for having us. >> and the court heard the oral argument today in the shelby, alabama, voting rights challenge. four of the nine courts -- five most conservative members asked spectacle questions about the law, a provision which would require nine states, mostly in the south, to get federal provisions that, perpetuation of racial entitlement. we'll show you the entire oral argument friday at 9:00 p.m. eastern. we're waiting for the u.s. house to gavel back in. they should be in shortly to resume debate, to vote on the rule for the re-authorization, the violence against women act. the house will be coming in
2:15 pm
momentarily. we will have live coverage when they do. elsewhere on capitol hill today, the senate judiciary committee held a hearing looking at proposed legislation in the senate on gun violence. here's part of that hearing from this morning. we cannot allow the carnage that i described to continue without taking action on what is a serious matter of public policy.
2:16 pm
and that's why i have joined with many of my colleagues, some on this committee, senator schumer, durbin, whitehouse, klobuchar, franken, blumenthal and hirono as well as many others off the committee to introduce legislation to prohibit the sale, transfer, manufacture and importation of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. as the members of this committee know, we enacted a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines which i authored in the senate and senator schumer sponsored in the house in 1994. unfortunately that law had a 10-year sunset and congress failed to renew it when it expired in 2004. since the ban expired, over 350 people have been killed with assault weapons. over 450 have been wounded.
2:17 pm
and the weapons are even more lethal today than they were in 2004. let me give you an example, and you can watch this on the screen. you can buy what's called a bump fire stock legally that you insert into an ar-15 or other assault rifles. this, as i said, is legal. it is not cosmetic and it allows the semiautomatic firearm to be fired as quickly as a fully automatic shotgun. excuse me -- machine gun, which has been banned for decades. i'd like to quickly show this weapon firing.
2:18 pm
>> you see the slide working as it mimics a fully automatic weapon. so it's got the versatility, low fire rates plus those very high fire rates. and that is legal today. since the newtown massacre, several states, including california --
2:19 pm
since the newtown massacre, several states, including california, delaware, maryland and new york have shown leadership in moving to ban assault weapons or strengthen existing bans. even so the need for a federal ban has never been greater. for instance, california law enforcement tells me that our states' assault weapons ban has been effective in reducing the availability of these deadly weapon. but some criminals continue to acquire the guns from neighboring states like arizona where they are unregulated. and as senator durbin stated at the last hearing, and i quote, in the last 20 years 9% of the crime guns in the city of chicago could be traced to the state of mississippi, end quote. it is clear that we need a national solution. let me describe briefly the key
2:20 pm
features of this new legislation, the assault weapons banff 2013. the bill bans the sale, transfer, importation and manufacture of 157 specifically named semiautomatic assault weapons. it bans any other assault weapon which is defined as semiautomatic that can accept a detachable magazine and has one military characteristic, such as a pistol grip, barrel shroud or folding stock. these features were developed for military weapons to make them more effective and efficient at killing people in close combat situations. the bill prohibits large capacity ammunition feeding devices capable of accepting more than 10 rounds. this is a crucial part of this legislation. these large magazines and drums make a gun especially dangerous
2:21 pm
because they allow a shooter to fire 15, 30, even 100 rounds or more without having to pause to reload. in many instances, like the tragic shooting of our colleague, congresswoman gabby giffords, in tucson, arizona, it is only when the shooter has to change magazines that police or others have the chance to take that shooter down. the bill also protects the rights of legitimate gun owners. it will not affect hunting or sporting firearms. instead, the bill protects legitimate hunters by specifically excluding over 2,000 specifically named by make and model firearms used for hunting or sporting purposes. second, the bill will not take away any weapons that anybody owns today. anyone who says otherwise is simply trying to deceive you. instead, the bill grandfathers
2:22 pm
weapons legally possessed on the date of enactment. finally, while the bill permits the continued possession of high-capacity ammunition magazines that are legally possessed at the day of enactment, it would ban the future sale or transfer of these magazines, including the manufacture, importation or possession. >> also at that same senate judiciary committee hearing today, senator lindsey graham questioned walsh and milwaukee police chief about the effectiveness of gun laws that are already on the books and banning assault weapons under the feinstein bill. >> how many crimes were committed with riflets in terms of homicide in the united states? what percentage of homicides are committed by rifles? either one of you know? >> senator, i know that it is a
2:23 pm
small fraction. >> in 2011 it was 2.5% of u.s. homicides that were committed by a rifle of any type. twice as many people were killed by bare hands. now, how many prosecutions have you taken upon yourself or how many prosecutions have you taken up for failing a background check since you've been u.s. attorney? >> senator, on -- off the top of my head i don't know of any in the district of colorado. >> i want to put in the record the federal background check form that says you're subject to prosecution if you provide false information. how many cases have you referred to state prosecutions? >> on that particular -- on that particular point? >> for failing a background check. >> senator, i don't have a specific number on that, but i -- if i may, i do think it's important to recognize where our focus is. our focus is on prosecuting --
2:24 pm
>> clearly your focus is not on prosecuting people who fail background checks, is that correct? if you haven't done anyhow could you disagree with that? >> i don't disagree with that, senator. >> and my point is, if we're going to expand background checks, looks to me we ought to start enforcing the law that's on the books. because when almost 80,000 people fail a background check and 44 people are prosecuted, what kind of deterrent is that? i mean, the law obviously is not seen that important if it's such an important issue, why aren't we prosecuting people who fail a background check and there are 15 questions there? they are not hard to understand if you're filling out the form. so i'm a bit frustrated that we would say one thing, how important it is, but in the real world we absolutely do nothing to enforce the laws on the books. now, let's talk -- >> just for the record from my point of view, senator --
2:25 pm
>> how many cases have you made? >> you know what, it doesn't matter. it's a paper thing. i want to stop -- i want to finish the answer. i want to stop 76,000 people from buying guns illegally. that's what a background check does. >> how many ar-15 -- >> paperwork prosecution -- >> how many -- [applause] >> how many cases -- >> senator, if you would withhold just for a moment. >> yeah, that's fine. >> please, no expressions one way or another. and let's keep this civil. senator graham and i just got recognized for civility, so i know he'll keep it civil. >> and being civil and being firm in your convictions are not inconsistent, is that right? i admire what you do. i think that every cop deserves what's come your way and then some. has your budget gone down? >> yeah. >> in the next decade do you expect more or less money given the budget situation?
2:26 pm
>> probably less. >> yeah. i think that's just a reality. so i want americans to know what this police chief is facing almost every other police chief is facing. less money. so you may have to defend yourself. but back to the question, how many cases have you made for somebody violating a background check? >> we don't make those cases, senator. we have priorities. we make gun cases. we make 2,000 gun cases a year, senator. that's our priority. we're not in a paper chase. we're trying to prevent the wrong people buying guns. that's why we do background checks. if you think i'm going to do a paper chase, then you think i'm going to misuse my resources. >> i want to question you how the law works today. he's made no cases. you've made no cases because you say it's really not within your jurisdiction. how many cases have you had turned over from the u.s. attorney to prosecute at the state level that you know of? >> we all know the answer to these questions, senator. they're self-answering. we don't chase paper. we chase armed criminals. >> i guess my point is if we
2:27 pm
don't want the wrong people to own guns, which we all agree, then the one way to do that is to take the system that's supposed to distinguish between the person who should and shouldn't and enforce it, i own an ar-15. i passed the background check. isn't it really about who has the gun sometimes more than the gun itself? and i guess the point i'm trying to take, if there are four million ar-15's owned in the country by people like me, i think the argument is it is in use. you may not understand why you want to own an ar-15 and i may not understand what movies you want to watch, but we are talking about trying to solve a problem which has at its central core that people committing these crimes should not have any gun or one bullet. that's what we all agree on. and the best way to prevent crazy people, mentally unstable
2:28 pm
people from getting a weapon, is to identify them somehow before they murder somebody to steal it or they try to buy one. now, i'll end on this note. in south carolina i got parents from ashley hall here that a lady went into ashley hall with a .22 semiautomatic pistol and thank god the gun didn't function, who passed a background check at the federal level who was adjudicated, not guilty by reason of insanity of trying to kill the president of the united states. so before i am told by my colleagues on the other side and the two witnesses, we need to change our laws, i would argue that the law is fundamentally broken when almost no one gets prosecuted. and if you can pass a background check, having beened a juted, mentally insane by a federal court, i think the place we need to start is not creating a false sense of security.
2:29 pm
thank you. >> we'll see all of that senate judiciary committee committee hearing later on in -- senate judiciary committee hearing later on in our c-span program. we'll have the house live when they gavel back in. at that hearing today, neil, whose son was killed at sandy hook elementary school, tells about his son and that connecticut school shooting. >> jesse was brutally murdered. sandy hook school on december 14, 20 minutes after i dropped him off. this picture is a picture that was taken when jesse was 6 months old. it was our first christmas
2:30 pm
together. that picture over there is a picture six months before his death. that picture is his class picture from last year. that picture was on the port jefferson ferry. and jesse was the love of my life. it's hard for me to be here today to talk about my deceased son. i have to. i am not here for the sympathy. a pat on the back. but as many people stated in the town of newtown, i'm here to speak up for my son. there's many changes that has
2:31 pm
to happen to make a change effective. mental health issues, better background checks, bans on these weapons, bans on the high capacity magazines. they all have to come together and they all have to work effectively. common sense tells you that. i watched that video this morning. that's a dangerous weapon, and anybody that can deny or argue that isn't being honest. jesse was 6 1/2 years old. his birthday was june 30, 2006, he was born. it was the happiest day of my life. saddest day of my life was december 14. it was the worst day of my life. i waited in that fire house
2:32 pm
until 1:00 in the morning, 1:30 until i knew jesse was confirmed dead. senator blumenthal was there, governor malloy, the other congressmen from connecticut, along with the police and the first responders. i have a bond with them that will last a lifetime. no person should have to go through what myself or any of the other victims' family had to deal with and what they had to go through and what the town of newtown had to go through and is dealing with. the morning, december 14, jesse stopped -- we stopped at a dele and he got his favorite -- deli and he got his favorite sandwich, sausage, egg and cheese on a hard roll and he ordered me one. you know, we would always do
2:33 pm
that. i'd get a coffee. jesse get what he called a coffee but what was a hot chocolate. we proceeded to the school. it was 9:04 when i dropped jesse off. the school clock, jesse gave me a hug and a kiss at that time and said goodbye, i love you. he stopped and he said, i love mom too. that was the last i saw jesse as he ducked around the corner. prior to that when he was getting out of the truck, he hugged me and held me. i can still feel that hug and the pat on the back. he said everything's going to be ok, dad. it's all going to be ok.
2:34 pm
and it wasn't ok. i have to go home tonight to an empty house without my son. something that should. the second amendment. oh, the second amendment is a well regulated militia, to bear arms. hasn b well regulate it's not being well regulated. this bill that senator feinstein over. it's not about taking weapons away from the owners. it's about in putting a ban and
2:35 pm
curbing the sell of them. it's not hurting the sportsmen. it's not hurting the gun owners . it's -- i fully support the second amendment. i fully support the sportsmen and the hunters. i grew up with firearms. i started to skeet shoot with my father when i was 8 years old. competitively. my younger teen years, i was state champion. i achieved level of marksmanship with rifles. i have a broad knowledge of weapons, including military weapons. i don't participate in shotting or hunting any more. times have changed in my life and i had a young boy. i devoted my life to. ironically, the same day that jesse passed away, five days before that, my mother passed
2:36 pm
away. jesse had an interest in military. jesse had an interest in guns. asked a lot of questions about them. strange enough, the night before he perished, we were at big white. he was looking at a survival magazine or a gun magazine. and there were three weapons on that one page. one was a bushmaster. one was a glock and one was a sig handgun. i had to go back the following day to look at that. i quickly looked at it that night, it was an assault rifle and two handguns. he asked me about those weapons. i explained them to him, what they were used for and their capability. .223, it was a high velocity
2:37 pm
long-range cart ridge. was used by the military. and his response, weapon or gun used to kill people? i said, yes, jesse, that's what it's used for. jesse had a b.b. gun. i got it for him for christmas a year ago. i taught him gun safety. look over his back. he was proficient with it and he knew all the gun safety precautions. he could recite them to you. the same way as i could when i was his age. it just breaks my heart that something like that could happen in this country, in an elementary school. i walk past the capitol this
2:38 pm
morning, capitol police three feet from me when i walked by them. what is he holding? an assault weapon. protecting our nation's capitol , protecting us today. and a weapon, similarity, bushmaster, was brought into an elementary school, sandy hook, connecticut, and killed 20 students and six educators. i just can't believe that that could happen. those weapons were used on the battlefields of vietnam. they were used in the persian gulf. they were used in afghanistan and iraq. the sole purpose is to put a lot of lead on the battlefield quickly and that's what they could do and that was proof the video there this morning.
2:39 pm
they have the capability to be held and used to produce rapid fire. i asked a question a month ago what purpose those served in civilian hands around the street. i haven't received an answer yet, but they did blurt the second amendment. it wasn't about the second amendment. i defend the second amendment. and i want to see that upheld and regulated, and it hasn't been. when that was written almost 300 years ago, we didn't have these weapons we have today and the technology. they had muskets and cannons. i think it was 1934 when the ban was put on machine guns and the regulation. we haven't had a mass killing with a machine gun since. i feel these assault --
2:40 pm
so-called assault weapons that have certain characteristics should fall in that category and be banned. >> thank you, mr. heslin. thank you very much. >> you can watch that entire senate judiciary committee hearing online and in our video library at we'll also have it later in our schedule. live at the u.s. capitol as the house will vote on the rules for debate for the re-authorization of the violence against women act. we will have live coverage of the house, obviously, when they come in, which should be fairly shortly on c-span. earlier today in washington, chuck hagel was sworn in as defense secretary in a private ceremony with family members and immediate office staff at the pentagon. shortly thereafter, he addressed civilian and uniformed employees at the pentagon for about 15 minutes. >> a couple hours ago i took the oath of office to become
2:41 pm
the 4th secretary of defense. -- 24th secretary of defense. it's a great honor. it's a privilege. yes, for me, my family, but to be part of your team who you are is the honor. that's the great privilege. you're not joining my team. i'm joining your team. and i want you to know how proud i am of the president of the united states has given me and the congress of the united states has given me. and i will tell you that as i told the president, as i told the congress, that i will do everything in my power to be the kind of leader that you expect and you deserve. also, the kind of leader the country expects and deserves. we are living a very defining time in the world. you all know that. it's a difficult time.
2:42 pm
it's a time of tremendous challenge, but there are opportunities and i think it's important that we all stay focused obviously on our jobs, on our responsibilities that are immense but not lose sight of the possibilities. if there's anything that america stood for one thing, it's that we have a force for good. we make mistakes. we continue to make mistakes but we are a force for good. we should never ever forget that and you should always keep that out in front. as difficult as our jobs are, budget, sequestration, i don't need to dwell on all the good news there -- [laughter] that's a reality. we need to figure this out. you have been doing that.
2:43 pm
we need to deal with this reality. we got ahead of us a lot of challenges. they are going to define much of who we are, not this institution only but our country. what kind of a world are our children going to inherit? that's the big challenge that we have. that's the bigger picture of the objective. yes, it's difficult, but it's also pretty special. i mean, when we think about generations and how many generations have an opportunity to be part of something great, as difficult as this is with everything, challenges coming at us, different kind of challenges, cyberissues, you know all of them, but we can do something pretty special for our country. i said to the congress, the
2:44 pm
president, as secretary of defense, i will do everything i can to ensure the safety, the well-being, the future of you, your families. i want to mention for a moment families. i think the families are always in a difficult spot. maybe the most difficult spot. because they are left behind. they're dealing with a lot of uncontrolables. and we are doing our job. and that consumes us. that's good. but the families have a tough time. and it's also important for you to know that i'm committed to and i am told the president, this congress, assuring that every person in the department of defense associated with the department of defense, civilian or military, is absolutely treated fairly, honestly, equal
2:45 pm
benefits, everything that each of you do should be dealt with on a fair and equal basis. no discrimination anywhere in anywhere, anyway. i always believed that america's role in the world is one that you've had variations of this throughout history, there is one that should engage the world. we can't dictate to the world. we must lead with our allies. allies, as anyone in this room knows, is particularly important. as great as america is, can do any of this alone. and we need to continue to build on the strong relationships that we have built. i think what my friends and my
2:46 pm
predecessors, bob gates, leon panetta have done, build on that foundation. not just within our institutions here about teamwork, which i have noted, but teamwork with allies. we renew old alliances. we reach out and find new alliances based on the common interests of people. there would be differences. and we have great power and how we apply our power is particularly important. that engagement in the world should be done wisely, and the resources we employ on behalf of our country and our allies should always be applied wisely . the world looks to america for leadership. you know it's interesting, when you look at the turbulent times that we are going through in this country, the one
2:47 pm
institution that still maintains astounding credibility and confidence and trust in this country is this institution, the military and all those associated with it. gallup runs polls every year and they take the 15 largest institutions in america. the military is way up here. well, there's a reason for that. the reason is essentially what you have done. you earn confidence. you urine trust. -- you earn trust. it shouldn't be given away nor should it be given away. you have done that through your sacrifices, and we don't want to squander that. and we can use that to rebuild all the necessary institutions. we have to deal with here in our country and the world. the world can look to this institution as an institution
2:48 pm
they can have confidence in and trust. i will do everything in my power to continue to build on to what secretary pennetta and gates have -- secretary panetta and gates have begun to build and which you are beginning to build. as i said earlier in another meeting, leadership is a team business. it isn't about the leaders. it's about the team. it is about the team. everybody plays a role in that. you know, this morning after i was sworn in, i went over and spent a little time at the 9/11 memorial in the park, the chapel and reflected a bit on what happened on that day in 2001. i was on capitol hill at the time. everyone in this room remembers where you were at 9:37 in the
2:49 pm
morning on september 11, 2001. i surely remember exactly where i was. but in churchill's words long ago, that was a jarring gong, that event, that set in motion dynamics that we are living with today. you go back almost 22 years ago, as chairman dempsey noted this morning in a meeting, 22 years ago tomorrow in 1991, february 28, the end of desert storm, if you take those two events and start charting this, not unlike history, you start to see a picture emerge of different kinds of threats, new threats and there will be more new threats. and it gives you some dimension when you back up a little bit
2:50 pm
and understand this, not that any of us -- smart enough to know it all or figure it out, but it gives you some dimension of what's going on in the world. the world is such -- it's such an uncertain time. our budget problems here, meaning if nothing else what we're dealing with, what you're dealing with, what we're all dealing with is, yes, dollars coming down, but it's the uncertainty of the planning. it's the uncertainty of the commitments. it's the uncertainty of what's ahead. people are always the most important resource of institution. you know that. you always take care of your people. always take care of your people first. you all have done a tremendous job of that. partly why this institution is so highly valued, trusted by the american people. because you take care of your people. again i say to you, i will do everything in my power as
2:51 pm
secretary of defense to be worthy of you and to be worthy of this country and to do everything i can to make sure the families are taken care of, veterans. one of the proudest times in my 12 years in the united states senate is when friend, former vietnam veteran, jim webb, who spent a little time in this building over the years, you and i co-authored the post-9/11 g.i. bill. i was very proud of that. having nothing to do with me, i was proud of that because we were able to get two world war ii veterans, john warner, and frank lautenberg, democrat and republican, jim webb, chuck hagel, two vietnam veterans, democrat, republican, we got together and we got the votes and we passed the bill. now, that's the way things should work for our country, because the objective was not to give jim webb or chuck hagel
2:52 pm
or anybody any credit or a party, but the objective was to do something for the country, to do something for the people who sacrifice and who serve and who deserve this kind of attention. and this kind of recognition. and i say that because much of my life has been about doing everything i could in some way to help veterans and their families, whether it's chairing the agent orange program, and i'm proud of that. i'm more proud of that than any businesses i have been involved in and i'm proud of my background. i'm proud of my career, like you all are, but nothing makes me prouder, has ever made me prouder than my association with the military and the veterans. well, again, to you, each of you in this room, those of you who are watching this around
2:53 pm
the world, i say to you thank you. again, i say thank you to you for your service, your sacrifices. and i will do everything i can to be worthy of sergeant first class worth and his family and everybody in this building and i look forward to working with you. you'll always know that you'll have a secretary of defense that will deal straight with you. i'll be honest. i'll be direct. i'll expect the same from you. i'll never ask anyone to do anything i wouldn't do. i'll never ask anybody to do more than i wouldn't do. that's the story of your lives. i wouldn't be worthy if that was not the case. again, thank you for this tremendous opportunity. i'm very proud to be on your team. now i have to go to work.
2:54 pm
[laughter] thank you. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, this concludes today's event. please stand for the departure of the secretary of defense. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> here on c-span, waiting for the house to gavel back in for a vote on the rules for debate for re-authorizing the violence against women act. they'll debate the legislation tomorrow. should be in shortly. we'll have live coverage obviously here. a tweet from paul who covers capitol hill, covers congress for "the washington post." he reports that speaker boehner will cancel all iran and iraq could he dels. sources tell "the washington post" those codels are the
2:55 pm
congressional delegation trips abroad. we know the president will meet on friday with top leaders of the house and senate. speaker boehner, senator mcconnell, democratic leader harry reid and nancy pelosi, the democratic leader of the house. they'll be talking about the sequester, those $85 billion in spending cuts set to go into effect on friday. that meeting set for friday at the white house. on "washington journal" this morning, we spoke with a capitol hill reporter and looked at the impact of the sequester on the transportation department. host: this week we're digging into what sequestration will mean to various departments and agencies. we'll continue that today by looking at transportation. later on we'll look at agriculture and food safety and also jaxal programs. to get started with the educational program, here is
2:56 pm
keith lainge. guest: thanks for having me. host: how is that going to be debated? guest: the obama administration has raised the specter of flight delays and longer lines at t.s.a. they made this one of the reasons to deal with the impact of sequestration cuts. republicans in the house have said that they're raising false alarms, that there are other places that the f.a.a. can cut or t.s.a. can cut before they go to the air traffic controllers or airport screeners. host: here is a headline. transportation blog. white house warns sequester will produce chaos at the nation's airports. so what are we talking in terms of jobs getting cut and funding? what is the white house warning could happen? guest: the f.a.a. would have to cut $600 billion from its budget as part of the d.o.t.'s $1 billion cut. they said that we have to go -- because it would have to go as
2:57 pm
far as air traffic controllers because they're the bulk of the workers and this is different than the f.a.a. shutdown a couple years ago when the administration took pains to stress that air traffic safety would not be affected. now they're saying that they're going to keep the same level of safety but they might not be able to move planes as quickly. host: we saw questions with t.a.t.s.a., as you mentioned. that's -- it's department of homeland security, but it could still impact fliers' experiences. what happened to t.s.a.? guest: they said they would have to furlough their employees for up to seven days this year if they have to do the same cut. homeland security, secretary janet napolitano was in the white house press briefing this week warning you could see lines at t.s.a. checkpoints and major airports up to four hours long in major places like new york and los angeles. host: ready for travel bumps airport workers if sequestration hits.
2:58 pm
so keith laing, how much do we know when things would happen? guest: we don't yet. these cuts would take effect on friday. and then we'd have to see how these agencies respond to their cuts. the administration has asked all of a its other agencies to be prepared as cut as much as 8% from their budgets which will be across the board to make up the domestic portion of the $85 billion cut. host: what's the republican response? there's some pushback in terms of how this will be felt, what are the republicans saying? guest: the republicans are saying all of these agencies could stand to tighten their belts a little bit and these cuts don't have to get straight to the heart of their operations. the house transportation chairman, bill shuster, was on a -- doing an interview yesterday and he said that the f.a.a. could cut their budget for attending conferences and just general travel before they got to cutting air traffic
2:59 pm
controllers. host: how has the white house been getting out their message in the past couple of weeks? guest: they've had a cabinet secretary come out at the press briefing every day since friday, transportation secretary ray lahood was an unexpected guest on friday and they just had a different -- they're using the cabinet members to raise the profile of these warnings that they're issuing. host: you mentioned the critics say the f.a.a.'s budget has increased while domestic flights have actually dropped in the post-9/11 era. how do those numbers juggle out? guest: the t.s.a. has added about 3,000 workers according to republicans on the hill, and they say that the level of flights have been static. the f.a.a. has -- i mentioned about 47,000 workers. they have -- they've been pressured by congress to shoulder some little used air
3:00 pm
traffic towers and they've been trying to get those numbers to the -- host: "the new york times" show the air traffic tower in los angeles. and you can see one dot per plane. airline and airport officials say the sharp cut in federal spending could be flight delays and cancellations. . .
3:01 pm
3:02 pm
>> he is talking about safety
3:03 pm
3:04 pm
>> are you a flyer and do you have concerns? caller: i'm concerned we are facing rising prices and not going to fall apart. we just sustained a 2% cut. host: what about flying? do you take flights? caller: i can't afford to fly. host: thanks. are you hearing the message that ann is repeating? guest: republicans are arguing that across the federal government, there are places
3:05 pm
that budgets can be tightened and you don't have to go straight to cutting back air traffic controllers or impacting traveler safety. host: frustrated fliers have the feds to thank. and how badly their lives have screwed up. the sequester kicks in on friday. $85 billion of across-the-board spending cuts and we are looking at transportation. wanda in california, democrats' line. caller: i wanted to say two things. i just woke up, so i don't know what you said earlier. however, these cuts are not going to take effect immediately . so the republicans -- like the previous caller, you know, we are just crying and nothing's
3:06 pm
going to happen. that won't happen if the republicans take us off, which is really like another cliff and then all of a sudden come back and try and do something about it. but have you played lindsay graham's message on sunday on cnn when he said that the republicans did not have a plan and their main focus was to deny everything criticize everything that the president has tried to do. that's their whole focus, just like the last four years was to deny him a second term. now it's to criticize and deny everything that he does. and why would you manufacture a problem? and another thing, this transportation person, why didn't you get the real man? maybe you did get ray lahood?
3:07 pm
host: we heard from ray lahood in his briefing to white house reporters on friday. keith is a reporter from the hill and covers transportation and that's his specialty. can you reflect on the comments that she had especially in relation to when the cuts kick in and when will they be felt? guest: there is a disagreement about that. and the cuts that they're talking about now are from the 2013 budgets. the agencies would have discretion on how to distribute those cuts and just would have to make these reductions across the board if the sequestration is implemented. you can see some agencies frontloading some cuts and some agencies trying to spread them out. but this is for the 2013 budget. host: we saw in "usa today" this could be a problem. is there a danger the americans not feeling the cuts right away
3:08 pm
and the white house's message falling flat? guest: there has been criticism that they are crying wolf so to speak. there has been polling that shows that sequestration is kind of -- it's a huge deal inside the beltway, but it hasn't penetrated the rest of the country yet, which is one of the reasons why they have raised the issue of air travel because it touches regular people. host: on facebook, can we shift some of the costs of the f.a.a. back to those who benefit directly? in terms of fliers or people who use the f.a.a., like our first caller who said she doesn't fly. guest: the f.a.a. is set up to maintain the operation of the overall aviation system, so i don't know if it's a user fee. it's there to make sure the
3:09 pm
planes aren't falling or colliding out of the sky. caller: i'm in virginia right now. my question is i'm in human resources and payroll. air traffic controllers, if you are salaried, it doesn't matter how many hours you work, you just get paid. they have to dock their sick pay or vacations. how will that impact the budget is my question? host: are you a frequent flyer? are you looking at how the transportation funding can be affected? caller: yes. host: what are your thoughts about that? caller: i heard what he said, what your guest said. air transportation is something that is on the belt of the government. if you were to privatize that, it would be such a mess and probably too big to succeed like
3:10 pm
the banks. it's something you get under the federal government. maybe the costs should be added to the customs. host: thanks. guest: there are fees on your air ticket that go to airport maintenance and things of that sort. but the argument of supporters of the current system would say there is a national interest in obtaining a level of safety across all of the states and that's the argument for having a federal role in regulating the aviation industry. host: frank on the republican line. caller: i think the republicans have a hold on.
3:11 pm
i think they are trying to scare people. my wife and boys flys. this scares people more into giving them what they want. that's my biggest thing. i have heard a couple of million dollars in different airports is put out for sidewalks that go no where and lead no where and there are other things that can be cut as far as the flying. that was my point. host: what would make a difference in your life? you talked about your family having fliers in it. what would impact them and if they were having problems at airports? what would be a concern for you? caller: i'm middle income. and we are paying more taxes and
3:12 pm
more fees everywhere. gas, 54 cents. we use a lot of gallons. we have to travel 30, 40 miles a day back and forth. and we pay state taxes, city taxes, federal taxes, social security taxes, sales taxes, property taxes. there's taxes here everywhere. the government is a monster. host: frank is concerned about taxes and brought up gas prices and road travel, are we hearing anything from congressional leaders about how other parts of transportation could be impacted by a sequester? guest: you haven't heard much about road construction because that is paid through a trust fund, funded from gas taxes. there's a gap in what the gas tax brings in and what the level of funding is needed for
3:13 pm
maintaining the road system. so there is some money shifted over from other areas of the budget, but it's not funded through the department of transportation's budget in the same way that the operation of air traffic control towers is funded in the f.a.a.'s budget. host: chris on the democrats' line. caller: i thought secretary lahood had been talking about road construction that would be funded through his department, getting proper shovel-ready jobs that they needed to have from the stimulus. wasn't that true? guest: that is something that he mentioned but not with the same urgency or frequency of air travel concerns. host: any follow-through from you? caller: i think the air traffic will be impacted.
3:14 pm
the way workers should approach it, they should go to work anyhow. congress hasn't done their job. they were supposed to solve this problem a year and a half ago and they didn't, why shouldn't the workers go to work and ignore what congress has said. guest: i don't think they will be legally be able to do that. when the f.a.a. was partially shut down for two weeks in 2011, those workers were not allowed to report to work. congress later passed a bill to give them back pay but that took several months. i don't think they would be legally allowed to show up post-sequestration. >> u.s. house gaveling back in on rules for debate on violence against women act. in the meantime, more about the sequester.
3:15 pm
$85 billion in cuts this fiscal year that are set to happen march 1. here's how it might impact the education department. host: joining us now from education week is alison kline and is on the phone to talk to us about what these cuts might mean. we had the education secretary call these dumb cuts. what are the republicans calling it? guest: it is pretty quiet. a losing issue to come out and say, we want to make sure we cut programs like title 1, grants for disadvantaged students, head start programs, like that. it is quiet when it comes to the education cuts. host: let's -- the speaker pro tempore: n.
3:16 pm
members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
3:17 pm
3:18 pm
3:19 pm
3:20 pm
3:21 pm
3:22 pm
3:23 pm
3:24 pm
3:25 pm
3:26 pm
3:27 pm
3:28 pm
3:29 pm
3:30 pm
3:31 pm
3:32 pm
3:33 pm
3:34 pm
3:35 pm
3:36 pm
3:37 pm
3:38 pm
3:39 pm
3:40 pm
3:41 pm
3:42 pm
3:43 pm
3:44 pm
3:45 pm
3:46 pm
3:47 pm
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 229 and the nays are 196. the previous question is ordered. the question is on adoption of the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? mr. nugent: i ask for the yeas and nays. a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
3:48 pm
3:49 pm
3:50 pm
3:51 pm
3:52 pm
3:53 pm
3:54 pm
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 414 and the nays are nine. the resolution is adopted. without objection, a motion to reconsider is laid on the table. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the unfinished business is the question on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. on which the yeas and nays were ordered. the question is on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
3:55 pm
3:56 pm
3:57 pm
3:58 pm
3:59 pm
4:00 pm
4:01 pm
the speaker pro tempore: the yeas are 293 and the nays are 119 with one answering present. the journal stands approved.
4:02 pm
the speaker pro tempore: the chair would entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from connecticut -- rhode island rise? mr. langevin: ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and stepped my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. langevin: mr. speaker, i rise today to call on republican leaders to keep the house in session until congress fulfills its responsibility -- the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. mr. langevin: i rise today to call on republican leaders to
4:03 pm
keep the house in session until congress fulfills its responsibility to the american people by averting see questions trage. with rhode island unemployment at 10.2%, my constituents cannot afford a single day of these indiscriminate cuts. they will have a negative impact on rhode islanders seeking job assistance, teachers educating our children and seniors relying on food assistance and the jobs in our defense industry. we found compromise in the past. since april, 2011, congress relouised the deficit by $2. trillion and cutting spending with $3 in spending cuts for every dollar in revenue. democrats in the house and senate along with the president have put forward balanced proposals. i urge you to listen to the american people and bring balanced legislation to the floor for a vote. our communities cannot afford to wait.
4:04 pm
i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? mr. thompson: ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and stepped. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. thompson: thank you, mr. speaker. the congressional natural gas caucus has a bipartisan team in order to expand efforts and organizational resources in the 113th congress. despite a fragile economic recovery, the nation is witnessing an energy revolution through energy resource development is offering economic growth, new jobs and lower energy costs. america's null found ability to access expansive reserves in natural gas is a large part of this new domestic resource base, which has afforded new opportunities for america's manufacturing base on the comparative advantage of lower energy costs and for american families as they heat their homes at the fraction of costs. there are countless policy
4:05 pm
challenges that must be leveraged for the nation to continue benefiting from its abundant, clean, low-energy source. the mission of the natural gas caucus is to educate members of the public and as important depesk energy resource and the energy demand and obtaining energy security. i along with my fellow co-chairs, gene green from texas and jim costa from california encourage members to join us in this effort today. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois rise? >> ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, i rise today because southern illinois folks are worried about sequestration. undermining the jobs. i want to share with you a letter about those concerns.
4:06 pm
this is from the supervisor of a young national guard family. sarah and mike, a young couple, one small child and another on the way. both deployed to afghanistan back in 2008. if nothing changes, sarah will get hit with the furloughs and mike will probably lose his full-time national guard job entirely. this is just devastating. obviously, don't blame you. you weren't in congress when the budget control act passed, but real people are going to get hurt bad. veterans, soldiers, this is just incredible. i cannot believe congress is going to let this train wreck happen. i know you know this, but it matters a great deal for us and d.o.d. and the guard, both civilian employees will be mediate victims and the rest of us who have to deal with the fallout. i yield back.
4:07 pm
for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. >> yesterday, the administration in an effort to drive home the devastating impacts of sequestration indicated that they would begin releasing criminal aliens held in detention septemberers held across the united states. this policy is not only a short sighted tactic and an inappropriate way to handle our fiscal problem. mr. rooney: by releasing these criminals out in the communities, the obama administration is playing politics with american safety, not to mention the administration is placing an undue additional burden on the already strained federal programs that have succeeded in identifying arresting and removing criminal aliens. ordering the release of criminals back into the communities because their crimes
4:08 pm
aren't serious enough, completely ignores d.h.s.'s core mission. we are putting our communities at risk stressing local law enforcement and not saving a dime once three-pete offenders find themselves back in the system. we are a nation of laws. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from from illinois -- >> ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the the gentlewoman from from illinois is recognized. >> i rise to speak out today against the automatic cuts known as sequestration, which are set to kick in days from right now. these cuts were designed to be so painful and so terrible that they would never see the light of day. this is budgetary insanity.
4:09 pm
that is why i have opposed sequestration from the start. mrs. bustos: i met with chamber of commerce and residents from the rock island arsenal. last week, i met with a defense contractor from rockford, illinois and toured the ag research lab in peor yeah he i will know -- illinois. these groups are rightfully worried about the impact of sequestration. we will see job losses because of the flawed budget process and will have a trickle-down effect throughout the region that i represent. our residents will have less money to eat out as less money to see a movie or shop at small businesses. we cannot afford to have this happen. i introduced my first piece of legislation a couple of weeks ago called the government waste reduction act. bipartisan, commonsense approach to reduce government waste and
4:10 pm
not impact the middle class. this type of approach is reasonable, responsible and rational, and that's what i would call for in a bipartisan fashion. i yield back, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and stepped. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to talk about ruth. she is 91 years old from my hometown and ruth, like many of my constituents, through the years, has lost her network of family and friends. after coming home from the hospital, she was unable to shop or cook and could barely get out of bed. according to ruth, her life was literally saved by a federal program called meals on wheels that delivered more than one
4:11 pm
million meals to seniors in need each day. friday, as a result of mindless, indiscriminate budget cuts known as sequestration, thousands of folks like ruth across this country will be in jeopardy of going hungy -- hungry, and that is wrong. i urge my colleagues to do what is right, come together, stop the sequestration and implement the long-term balanced approach to reducing our national debt. and mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to bring up h.r. 699, a balanced bill, to replace the sequester with spending cuts and revenues. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: under the guidelines consistently shoed as recorded on page 752 of the house rules manual, the chair is constrained not to entertain the gentlewoman's request until it has been cleared by the bipartisan floor
4:12 pm
and committee leps. for what purpose does -- leaderships. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from from illinois seek recognition? >> ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, last week, i traveled across my district listening to my neighbors who cannot afford the cuts that will go into place under sequestration. ms. duckworth: at hopper college, two told me sequestration will jeopardize the future of our children. in hanover park i list yepped to officials discussing transportation investment. with sequestration we will lose construction jobs and potential investments in our business park. and veterans who would sacrifice everything for our nation wonder why congress can't come together and stop the cuts that will hurt this country they love so much. they didn't go home until they
4:13 pm
got their mission accomplished and we shouldn't go home until we resolve this self-inflicted crisis. both parties agreed to the sequester. the time for assigning blame is over. we should pass commonsense measures like stopping social medicare fraud and ending tax loopholes for large corporations. i ask unanimous consent to bring up house resolution 699, a balanced bill to replace the sequester with spending cuts and revenues, a measure that would save thousands of jobs. the speaker pro tempore: as the chair previously advised, that request cannot be entertained absent appropriate clearance. for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona seek recognition? >> permission to address the house for one minute and revise and stepped. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. barber: thank you, mr. speaker.
4:14 pm
we are now less than 48 hours from sweeping and irresponsible across-the-board budget cuts that will go into effect on friday. these cuts will weaken our military, harm our border security, undermine economic recovery and hurt southern arizona families. we must work together and we can, i'm confident, craft a rational, bipartisan solution to reduce the debt so these cuts can be avoided. last week i stood with officials from the university of arizona, the city of tucson, law enforcement, border patrol agents, civilian employees of the air base and local health care groups and community agencies to demand that we take action on sequestration. the critical services that these groups and individuals and countless others provided to arizona will be cut because congress hasn't come together with a commonsense solution.
4:15 pm
in my district, this means longer waits at the border ports of entry and less security between them. this is unacceptable. sequestration hurts the ability of returning veterans to find a job. this is also unacceptable and as i said before, i'm willing to work here with all of my colleagues to find a middle ground. we owe our community a budget, one that balances new receive news and eliminates ineffective programs and allows vital services to continue. we should not recess tomorrow. we should stay here and do our job. thank you, mr. speaker. . . the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. woodall: thank you, mr. speaker. as a freshman here just two years ago, it does my heart
4:16 pm
good to see my freshmen colleagues coming down from the other side of the aisle because i came down with that same vision two years ago, to work together, to address the big issues that are out there. i serve on the budget committee, mr. speaker. and for fiscal year 2013, we're going to post a $1 trillion annual deficit. this sequester that every member is rightly concerned about is $85 billion. less than 1/10 the magnitude of the decisions we really need to make to get america back on fiscal track. is the sequester anybody's idea the right way to do it? i don't believe it is. is everyone's idea the right way to do it, to deal with that part of the budget that we can't do in discretionary spending, the big 2/3, that mandatory spending that we have to come together to deal with, and the answer is absolutely yes. i stand ready to work with my freshmen colleagues on both sides of the aisle to do those big things that need to be done, but, mr. speaker, we have raised taxes already in 2013.
4:17 pm
the c.b.o. reports that an additional $1 trillion will come into the treasury over the next 10 years. what we need is not more taxes, what we need are responsible spending cuts, mr. speaker. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from connecticut seek recognition? ms. delauro: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. delauro: the house majority should bring legislation to this floor that will prevent the automatic across-the-board cuts that will occur on friday. these dangerous, indiscriminate cuts threaten our economy and vital services for our children, for women, for seniors, small business men and our service members in uniform. today we are spending $12 billion less on labor, health and education programs than we
4:18 pm
were in 2002. and because of the cuts we made in the budget control act, we will be spending $21 billion less on these programs in 2022. and yet despite these already-made cut, the sequester will gut labor, health and education programs by nearly another $7 billion this year. the results -- over 10,000 fewer people in my state will get the assistance they need to find jobs. over 1,500 fewer connecticut children will receive vaccines for diseases and 8,000 disadvantaged students will lose access to educational services. this will also relieve teachers and teacher aides of their jobs, thereby raising unemployment. this is in addition to cuts that will impact food safety inspections, meals on wheels for seniors, support for public safety officers and to keep air traffic controllers on the job. i ask unanimous consent to bring up my colleague, mr. van hollen's, stop the sequester
4:19 pm
now act. we have a responsibility in this body, pass a budget that protects the middle class, our seniors, and the most vulnerable and we have to act. and yield back. the speaker pro tempore: as the chair previously advised, that request the company be intertained absent appropriate -- cannot be entertained absent appropriate clearance. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i don't intend to take that long. what i want to remind the people of is that this house has twice passed legislation to repeal the sequester. the senate has not done anything. quite honestly they've just chosen not to do their job over there. the president has yet to give us a written proposal but this house, the peoples a's house, twice vote -- people's house, twice voted to repeal the
4:20 pm
sequester with responsible spending cuts. mr. speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to set the record straight. i yield my time back. the speaker pro tempore: the chairman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlelady from new mexico seek recognition? without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. lujan grisham: time is short, mr. speaker. march 1 is just a few hours away and the republicans refuse to bring forward a balanced plan to replace the meat axe approach to governoren -- governing known as sequestration. my constituents have been clear with me. we should stop the blame game and we must stop this sequester from happening. new mexicans are worried.
4:21 pm
they know what happens if we don't stop the sequester. more than 750,000 jobs are at risk just this year. almost 10,000 new mexicans won't be able to get the help and skills they need to find a job, small businesses, the backbone of our economy, won't be able to get the loans that they need to expand and grow. just in new mexico almost 7,000 civilian furloughs from the defense department, resulting in 42 -- $42 million less in gross pay for those employees, forcing middle class families to deal with losses equal to one mortgage payment or more. and lastly, one of my state and district's largest employers has implemented a hiring freeze. this move will stunt economic growth and be devastating to new mexicans -- new mexico's economy. i ask unanimous consent to bring up h.r. 699, a balanced bill to replace the sequester with spending cuts and revenues. i yield back the balance of my time.
4:22 pm
the speaker pro tempore: as the chair previously advised, that request cannot be entertained absent appropriate clearance. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. garamendi: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to tell the story of how northern california communities that i represent will be harmed by sequestration. travis air force base in my district, make sure the equipment and personnel that our military needs are delivered quickly and safely around the world. their the world's first responder when disaster strikes. 3,200 civilians will be furloughed beginning next week. they will have a loss of some $30 million of income over the next six months. beel air force base operates intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance missions that supply our nation's military with timely information to save
4:23 pm
american lives on the battlefield. 1,400 civilians there will be furloughed. $13 million in lost wages. families and their income are important. but so is national security which will be compromised by sequestration. yuba city, one of the major places in the united states with flood problems, will see their critical levee protection that the army corps of engineers is working on delayed and not completed for next winter's floods. the university of california -davis will similarly be harmed. it's time to end sequestration and move h.r. 699 and i ask unanimous consent that that bill be brought up for a vote. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: as the chair previously advised, that request cannot be entertained absent appropriate clearance. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition?
4:24 pm
without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. tomorrow is the last day we have to avoid sequester and i've spoken on the house floor about how san diego will be disproportionately affected. today i just want to address our national security. almost one in four jobs in san diego county are defense-related. nearly 25% of defense contractors are small businessmen. already ship building and maintenance contracts have been canceled, including 10 ship repairs in san diego. manufacturing companies that rely on defense funding could lose 223,000 jobs. neglecting ship repairs will not only lead to job loss and threaten morale, it undermines our national security and our readiness. mr. speaker, let's prove to san diego and the american people that congress is not broken. let's work together to find a solution that doesn't compromise our national security and that balances fiscal responsibility with economic growth.
4:25 pm
i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from massachusetts seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today to urge my colleagues to come together and avoid sequestration. make no mistake, these cuts aren't just fodder for newspaper headlines. they are real. mr. kennedy: they are deep and they will hurt. back home in my district, we have an active chapter of jumpstart, a national literacy organization that pairs volunteers with low income preschool children. they operate in hand democrat with the local head start. if sequestration happens, over 70,000 children across the country could lose access to head start. 1,500 in massachusetts alone. jeopardizing the ability of
4:26 pm
jumpstart to continue offering their services. on top of that, the organization is run by the hard work of volunteers, most of whom come through a federal work study program, 800 jobs lost in massachusetts alone, or ameasure core, $38 million -- americorps, $38 million in cuts across the board. those are big numbers. but for a moment forget the numbers. the numbers are a way of saying there's a 4-year-old girl in massachusetts whose single mother depends on jumpstart to get her child up to speed for kindergarten while she works two jobs to keep food on the table. our budget is in difficult shape. we have to make tough choices, worthy of our constituents who put their faith and trust in each and every one of us. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seek recognition? without objection, the
4:27 pm
gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, thank you, mr. speaker. the once inconceivable now seems to becoming the inevitable. on friday the sequester, a plan designed to never be implemented, will be triggered. now the question among the papers and the pundits is exactly how bad sequester will turn out to be? my question is, why are we debating how -- why aren't we debating how to stop it? mrs. davis: why are we not working together on a balanced fiscal plan? we all know it's not the right thing to do and we all know it's not the smart thing to do. my constituents in san diego and everyone outside of d.c. knows that it's harmful. san diego air traffic controllers, our border patrol officers and civilian defense personnel put on leave, making us less safe and less efficient? san diego seniors -- senior
4:28 pm
citizens, many of whom have served our country, sent messages stating that they will not be able to receive the meals they depend on. san diego teachers furloughed, disrupting our children's education? blindly taking an axe to our budget is not a solution, it's a problem. and with that i ask unanimous consent to bring up h.r. 699, a balanced bill to replace the sequester with spending cuts and revenues. the speaker pro tempore: as the chair previously advised, that request cannot be entertained absent appropriate clearance. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. crowley: 14 years, it's still not easy to say. starting friday, careless and devastating across-the-board spending cuts will hit america's economy and stifle our recovery. but the only thing my colleagues on the other side of the aisle can say is, and i quote, it's about time.
4:29 pm
do we need to address our nation's deficit? absolutely. but cutting $750 -- 750,000 american jobs, food safety inspections and health care benefits for our 9/11 first responders isn't the right way to do it. the u.s. can't lead the world in medical research if we aren't funding the national institutes of health. we can't protect ourselves from cybersecurity threats if the very people who work on this issue are laid off. and we can't expect our children to compete in tomorrow's global economy if we deny them access to critical programs like head start today. it doesn't have to be this way. democrats and president obama have a solution. our plan will put an end to the slash and burn cuts and replace it with reductions to our deficit through the closure of tax loopholes and an end to wasteful spending. so, mr. speaker, there's a way out, there's another path forward that will ensure we protect investment.
4:30 pm
i will ask that tomorrow the speaker ask unanimous consent to bring up h.r. 66, a balanced plan to reduce our deficit. the speaker pro tempore: as the chair previously the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> permission to address the house for one minute and revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. farr: mr. speaker, tomorrow we have two choices and will be able to vote on this floor on a senate version of the violence against women act. we'll also have a house version that will be tried to be amended to that bill. there are several reasons why the house version is not a good bill and ought to be opposed. in my district, the immigrant
4:31 pm
provisions left out of the house bill will have a profound impact on my constituents. immigrant women are at risk of domestic violence more than any other women and less likely to report their attackers due to fear of deportation. the senate version offers protection that the house bill does not. i have several college campuses in my district. the senate bill would combat violent crimes on college campuses. the house bill does not. the senate version of violence against women act includes the re-authorization of victims. sadly, domestic violence affects the entire country and that is why it is absolutely a shame that the republican leadership house bill will jeopardize the safety of millions of women making it even harder to receive the services and programs that are available. the speaker pro tempore: are there further one-minute
4:32 pm
requests? the chair lays before the house the following personal requests. the clerk: leaves of absence requested for mr. culberson of texas for today. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the request is granted. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the gentleman from texas, mr. gohmert, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mr. gohmert: mr. speaker, i would ask that mr. westmoreland be recognized for 60 minutes.
4:33 pm
the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013rks the gentleman from georgia, mr. westmoreland is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mr. westmoreland: thank you, mr. speaker, and i thank the gentleman from texas for allowing me to have this time and i'm joined by some of our colleagues here to talk about the sequester. we have heard a lot about it and the last 10 or 12 one-minute speeches about the sequester and how bad it is and how it's going to wreck our economy and we know
4:34 pm
it's going to affect some people's lives and we hate that. we much prefer a different way to do the cuts. and it actually has passed two bills to address the sequester and address the spending habits and didn't affect the many thousands of people that will have to go to part-time work or no work due to these cuts. it's been over 300 days since we passed the first bill out of this house, yet the senate did not take it up. and so two months later, we pass another one, that the senate has not taken up. the president, over the past three weeks or so, has traveled a little over 5,000 miles going down to north carolina, to georgia, to west palm beach, to ohio, to virginia talking about the problems.
4:35 pm
yet, even though he's traveled that many miles, it's only 1.7 miles from the white house over to the senate. so he could have cut down on all those trips of the rhetoric and the cam pain -- campaign type attitude, just by traveling 1.7 miles to the senate chamber and sitting down with the majority leader over there and the rest of his party and saying look, we need to offer something back, because we believe in regular order. we think the best business that we can have and we think there are founders in the way our constitution has set up, that we work under regular orders. the house passes a bill, we send it to the senate. if the senate doesn't agree with it, they can either put their own bill, send it back over to us and we'll go to conference or
4:36 pm
they can amend our bill and send it back. and then if we can't agree with that, we'll go to conference. but that's not the way things have been operating over here. and it's been a failure, in my opinion, on the majority leader's part and the senate, that he just refuses to take them up. we're not going to do it or debate it. it's either my way or the highway and the american people deserve better than that. and i'm going to give mr. gohmert a few minutes if he would like to take the time before he has to make one of his dignified appearances. so i'll yield to him. mr. gohmert: i appreciate my friend from georgia hosting this hour and also yielding. this is a very important topic. and people need to understand what's going on. as someone who was totally opposed to the deficit ceiling bill back in july of -- aier and
4:37 pm
a half ago, i told our conference, you know, the democrats and the president are never going to allow the super committee to reach an agreement because they want to blame cuts to medicare on republicans when the fact is that obamacare cuts $700 billion from medicare and it has been and it's starting to be and it's going to get much worse because of those cuts from obamacare. to ourselves here in the house over the last two years, we have cut our own budgets, senate hasn't, but we cut our own budgets in the house over a two-year period by 11%, 11.5%. this sequester is going to cut us another 11%. we will have cut nearly 23% of our own budgets. how do we do that? did we lay off all our staffs
4:38 pm
and have a big press conference and talk about how terrible it was going to be? no i know in my office -- no. i know in my office, we have what is called a hiring freeze. we lost somebody and we haven't replaced them. tom coburn first raised this point in a letter to the deputy director of management for the white house with all these gloom and doom about all the people that the president's going to have to fire because of the sequestration, because of a cut of about 2% of the budget, they are going to be firing all these people or furloughing all these people and at the same time, you can go online, you can order books and you can see all the federal jobs that this
4:39 pm
administration is still offering . so an easy suggestion is, how about instead of firing and furloughing all these people, just hold up on the hiring of some folks for a while. across america, people know how to do that in business instead of firing everybody that's been with you for years that's counting on that salary. if you have to cut the budget, the first thing you do is you maybe wait to hire somebody for a bit. that would be more caring, unless, of course, this administration is more concerned with showing that they hired somebody instead of just maintaining what they have. we will have cut our own budgets 23% approximately over a three-year period. if we can do it and still get
4:40 pm
the job done, then i feel sure the people in the white house, the people in the executive departments, all those people at the e.p.a. that are trying to shut down our own energy production and put those people out of work, heck, maybe if they shut down the e.p.a. a little bit and let the states continue like texas has to get their water and air cleaner, maybe the jobs would increase and the president could take credit for that screws by slowing the amount of regulation that this president has been throwing on the american economy. another thing we hear today, the president is saying, on friday after the sequestration is started and the military is having all these massive layoffs and actually the truth be known, after the president will have gotten what he had been hoping and trying to get for years even as a u.s. senator, and that is big cuts to the defense
4:41 pm
department, after the defense department cuts kick in, then and only then is he going to sit down and talk to congressional leaders. that's not hard to figure out. what a great political employ, what a great political -- political ploy, what a great political plan. a year ago, they came up with the idea of this massive sequester and the biggest loser would be the defense department and reluctantly, it was some people like me saying, let's not do this, let's have other cuts. let's not let the president's plans for his massive cuts to defense and 2% cuts to other entities, let's not let that happen. let's cut things we really don't need. but we ended up going along with the president's idea foresee questions ter. and after he gets the cuts to
4:42 pm
defense that he has been pushing for for years and years going back to his days as a u.s. senator, he gets to come forward and spend millions and millions of dollars and run around on air force one condemning republicans in the house for cutting defense. what a great thing. he cuts defense that he has been wanting to do for years. forces republicans to go along with it andier and a half later blames the republicans for cutting defense and says, i wouldn't have done that, but now that defense is cut, now let's talk about restoring some of that money to groups, the acorn groups out there who are going to suffer because they aren't going to have money to spend on the next election if we don't return the sequestered money. it's about $85 billion from $3.6
4:43 pm
trillion budget -- not that we passed a budget, that's just how much money will be spent approximately and it doesn't have to be that way. one of the things that the "wall street journal" pointed out in an editorial, february 19 and they said americans need to understand mr. obama is threatening that if he doesn't get what he wants, he's ready to inflict maximum pain on everybody else. he won't force government agencies to shave spending on travel and conferences and excessive pay and staffing. he won't demand that agencies cut the lowest priority spending as any half competent middle manager would do and they talk about things -- one of the things we find out today, the administration has released people charged with felonies and said, look, if you don't restore the money to my agencies that
4:44 pm
i'm demanding, then i'm going to end up releasing more criminals on the american public. that is incredible. but he knows the mainstream media will give him cover and i hope and pray the american people will not give him cover, that we will demand what we have been telling the american public we were going to do, we made cuts. the cuts will be made. now let's look for better ways after this to make cuts to other programs that need it. with that, i yield back to my friend from georgia. mr. westmoreland: thank you. i want to now introduce somebody from new york that i believe he was the executive for monroe county for four years. took a county that was fixing to go bankrupt and turned it around, 125 million, i believe
4:45 pm
in a rainy day so to speak fund. he has knowledge of how to do it. he has been a very successful business man. and i think all these agency and department heads that we have, if you can't manage to cut about 2.4% of your budget, you know, you need to take a look if you are really capable of managing people or a department that size. i would ask the gentleman from new york, one of our freshman, businessman, great guy, mr. collins, to come up and try to give us some -- enlighten a little bit on what steps he took of running a government that actually turned it around and made it to where the citizens got something for the taxes they were paying. .
4:46 pm
. mr. collins: i would put two points forward. common sense is something that i think frustrates the american public, something we don't see in u.s. government. and i'd like to point to the sequester as a prime example of what's wrong with washington. we have a broken government and we all know it. as someone who ran for congress to focus on improving our economy, washington can be a very frustrating place. we're now only two days away from sequestration taking effect. and in typical washington fashion, we're now staring a deadline in the face with no answers for hardworking taxpayers. the timing of this whole process should not be taking anyone by surprise. certainly not the president. president obama is the one who proposed the sequester and that
4:47 pm
is a fact. the president insisted that these arbitrary across-the-board spending cuts become law as part of the debt negotiations in 2011. now, two days away from these cuts taking place, i'm very disappointed. the president is not working with us to find a solution. instead he is deliberately scaring the american people and attempting to convince them the only way to avoid the pain is to raise taxes again. the president is threatening an apocalypse if he doesn't get his second tax hike in just eight weeks. the hardworking families of new york's 27th district can't afford it. and i believe the american public are seeing this side show for what it is, a blatant attempt to raise taxes again on american families and small businesses instead of addressing our spending addiction. because if the president and the senate didn't want to raise
4:48 pm
taxes again, they would have a plan and they don't. the house has twice passed a bill to replace the across-the-board sequester with responsible spending reductions and reforms. the house first passed this legislation 10 months ago to replace the president's sequester with smarter, more responsible, commonsense spending cuts. the senate and the president never addressed those bills. and they don't have a plan of their own except raise taxes. the good people of western new york and the finger lakes region know there are smarter, more bipartisan ways to cut government spending. they know that this country must reduce its spending and pay off its debt. they know that failing to do so will only mean a continued sluggish economy and even -- economy, and even worse, leaving our children and grandchildren with nothing but a bag of i.o.u.'s and they know that before washington politicians have the audacity
4:49 pm
to talk about raising taxes again and cutting our military, there are millions of dollars in waste in the federal government around every corner. and they are waiting, not so patiently anymore, for us to cut the waste before we tell them to hand over even more of their paycheck to the bureaucrats in the federal government. here's a question -- why is the e.p.a. dolling out grants to foreign countries, including china, at the expense of $100 million over the last decade? why does the i.r.s. need a tv studio that costs $4 million a year? and why are we paying senior citizens to play video games so we can study the impact on their brains? now, i understand these three examples don't equal $85 billion of sequester cuts, but these are just three examples of the waste and this is crazy. washington must do better because the american people
4:50 pm
deserve better. they deserve a federal government focused on balancing its budget, reducing its spending, paying off its debt, honoring its commitments to seniors and making sure our younger generations can actually live the american dream. mr. president, let's stop the square tactics and let's get to work. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. thank you very much. mr. westmoreland: i want to thank the gentleman for participating. next i want to introduce another one of our bright young freshmen, mr. valadao from california, the 21st district, a dairy farmer, the son of portuguese immigrants that has come here, he's a veteran legislator, been with the california assembly, and we're excited about having him and he also represents a district that has been really hurt by some of the regulations and the environmental -- i guess
4:51 pm
requirements that this administration has pushed and the fact that where he lives and where he farms and his neighbors have lost a great number of jobs due to the fact that we can't provide them any water that we promised them probably 40 or 50 years ago and they really had the basket of the fruit and vegetable set that we eat every day. so i turn it over to the gentleman from california. mr. valadao: thank you. mr. speaker, i agree, congress needs to get serious about our nation's irresponsible spending. however, broad based automatic spending cuts and tax increases are not the way to get our fiscal house in order. this week the administration warned of devastating effects that sequestration will have on many essential services provided by the federal government. to be clear, while the budget control act of 2011 defined the amount of sequestration cuts, implementation of these cuts is
4:52 pm
at the discretion of the administration. the administration has now threatened to cut crucial services including laying off air traffic controllers and inspectors that make our food safe. at the same time our government is spending $1.7 billion operating unused federal properties. there are numerous bipartisan alternatives to increase the federal government's efficiency and eliminate wasteful spending that do not include raising taxes or cutting the essential services my constituents depend on. ultimately the real solution lies in reviving our struggling economy and giving our small businesses the tools to create jobs. in california, san -- in california, environmental regulations have resulted in the fouling of 200,000 acres of land and the loss of countless jobs. this is a prime example of government ignoring a solution while creating a problem. at no cost to the taxpayers we could provide certainty to our
4:53 pm
communities and to the farmers in my district that we can protect jobs and actually grow our economy. with just two days until sequestration takes place, it's time for all of us to get serious about our nation's spending problem and come together to do its best for -- to do what's best for the american people. i yield back. mr. westmoreland: i want to thank the gentleman for being here. next i want to allow one of my fellow georgians some time to speak. another veteran legislator that came out of georgia, who i served with in the georgia house, somebody from south georgia, and understands what it's about when you have to work hard and farm. he's a private business owner, insurance agent and he's a good friend. and so i'd like to recognize the gentleman, mr. scott. mr. scott: thank you, mr. westmoreland. i certainly enjoyed serving with you in the georgia house
4:54 pm
where we balanced the budget on an annual basis and made cuts certainly much larger than this on a percentage basis. quite honestly, on an annual or a semiannual basis, when we were there. and i want to point out one thing that you talked about that's not being talked about much here and that is that the total cut, the total cut we're talking about is a little less than $2.5% of federal spending -- 2.5% of federal spending. so the problem with the sequester is not that it's an unreasonable amount that's being cut, it's where it's being cut from. so here we are, less than 48 hours from the president's sequester, our commander in chief's sequester, that's going to go into effect and set into place $1.2 trillion over the course, over the course, ladies and gentlemen, of 10 years, and that's one of the things that needs to be pointed out. it's not $1.2 trillion over the course of this year. it's over 10 years. so you're talk about $100 billion a year out of a little
4:55 pm
over $3 trillion annual budget. so, of this cut that our commander in chief has insisted on, over half of that is going to come from national defense and our men and women in uniform and our civilian work fose -- work force and taking its toll on them. our secretary of defense, leon panetta, who i thought did a great job when he actually explained it as hollowing out our military and told the truth about that, and just what the commander in chief's budget reductions were going to do to our military, and obviously we have a new secretary of defense coming in now and i can't help but wonder if secretary panetta , speaking out about what those cuts were going to goed to to the military, aren't one of the -- going to do to the military, aren't one of the things that led to his replacement. on october 22, just to give you a couple of specifics, in his campaign for re-election as our commander in chief, the
4:56 pm
president promised that his sequestration, quote, would not happen. the president, the commander in chief promised that it would not happen. he went to great lengths to assure americans that were working in our military and on our military bases, our civilian work force, like i represent at robins air force base, he told them, this will not happen. he told our defense contractors, do not comply with the law and actually issue the notices that were required under the law that furloughs and layoffs may be coming. now, i personally think it's politically motivated, was politically motivated, but that's just a personal stance of mine, mr. speaker. on february 6, i asked the president for a solution. i sent a letter, i've got the letter right here. i'm sure that somebody at white house got it. we have never gotten any response from any letter that we have sent to the white house as a member of congress and we simply ask him to give us a
4:57 pm
written proposal on what he would do given his choice of having it exactly his way and replacing the sequester. again, no response, no action. on february 15, conman, he joined -- congressman, he joined our seat, georgia, didn't go -- he visited our state, georgia, he didn't go to any military installations. he went to a county and he talked about expanding the federal government. expanding the role of the federal government in public education. that's what he was talking about. as we were approaching the sequester and the men and women at the air force base and the other bases were wondering what's going to happen to their paycheck, he did not even address the issue while he was in georgia with our seven major military installations and our 12 major military communities. mr. speaker, i didn't vote for
4:58 pm
the sequester. but what i'll tell you is i'm reminded of what teddy roosevelt said when i look at the national debt and the things that we're facing right now. the best thing to do is the right thing. the next best thing is the wrong thing. and the worst thing is nothing. we have to cut federal spending. or we're going to rob the next generation of americans of the american dream. and so i would say that here we are as a house, having passed two separate bills to undo the president's sequester, 48 hours prior to the sequester going into action, and all we've heard from the president is just words. he hasn't had the guts to put a proposal in writing before this house, for the american public to see and say, here we are, mr. speaker, at the 11th hour. no action from the president. no responts to my letter or any -- response to my letter or any other member's letter to my
4:59 pm
knowledge, no plan to congress, no plan to america. just a president, a commander in chief, that's willing to let this happen to our military, half the cuts coming from our military, half the cuts coming from our military. what kind of commander in chief do we have? congressman, i appreciate the opportunity to speak today and i'm going to yield my time back to you. but thank you so much for doing this. west waste -- mr. westmoreland: thank you. now i want to introduce another one of our freshmen, somebody that comes to us from florida's third congressional district, a veterinarian, so he's actually a small business guy. i think he's been in that business for about 30 years. he also understands the effect that this sequester will have on our military because his oldest daughter, katie, is an

Public Affairs
CSPAN February 27, 2013 1:00pm-5:00pm EST

News News/Business.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 32, Texas 20, New York 20, Alabama 19, America 19, California 18, Georgia 17, Florida 16, Washington 15, U.s. 12, Illinois 9, United States 8, San Diego 8, Mr. Van Hollen 7, Mr. Westmoreland 6, Mr. Nugent 6, Shelby 5, Mississippi 5, The Nation 5, Maryland 5
Network CSPAN
Duration 04:00:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 17 (141 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 704
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only
Uploaded by
TV Archive
on 2/27/2013